I was both shocked and disappointed to learn that Hartlepool Borough Council are considering raising councillor allowances by 31%.
Local councillors play a vital role in their community but in a time of cuts and council tax rises I believe that it would be extremely inappropriate to provide any councillors with a higher allowance.
In January Council leaders told us that they had ‘no alternative’ to raising council tax because of government cuts and a lack of funding. I would like to think that every single councillor who supported this tax rise will now be voting against raising allowances.
Residents were told that this tax rise would protect vital services, not fund a higher allowance for the councillors who enforced the tax rise. The Council should not even be considering this idea, if they have spare money in the budget then they should be investing it in frontline services such as social care.
Jonathan Arnott MEP
UKIP, North East