Rochdale Liberal Democrats have expressed their shock and disgust at Labour Councillors after they put forward proposals to last night's budget council that would see two of their leading member's receive an extra £2,800 a year in allowances.
The proposals were included within the Labour Party's budget for Council. They included reducing Rochdale's serving Cabinet by four members to six and increasing the allowances of the four township chairman to that of Cabinet Members.
Rochdale has four townships with the Pennines and Rochdale townships led by the Liberal Democrat Councillors Jean Ashworth and William Hobhouse and the Heywood and Middleton townships led by Labour Party Councillors Alan McCarthy and Peter Williams.
Rochdale's Finance Spokesperson, Councillor Greg Couzens said: "The proposals that the Labour Party put forward to Council are simply despicable. At a time when many people across Rochdale are experiencing real hardship because of the economic downturn, we have the Labour Party putting forward proposals that would see a massive increase in allowances of well over 25% for two of their members. It sends out completely the wrong message to the residents of Rochdale.
The Liberal Democrat Chairman of Rochdale Township, Councillor William Hobhouse said: "It is clear to see that the Labour Party in Rochdale have completely lost touch with the harsh economic realty that people are now facing in Rochdale. Instead of putting forward positive proposals to help the people of Rochdale, they come up with a shameful scheme that will see their leading members receive big fat pay increases. I'm afraid to say that both Councillor Peter Williams and Councillor Alan McCarthy are simply looking to feather their own nests at the expense of the tax payer in Rochdale.
Chair of the Pennines Township, Councillor Jean Ashworth said: "As a township chair I would have been ashamed to have proposed such an immoral increase in my allowances and I certainly wouldn't have been able to accept it. The Labour Party in Rochdale should hang their heads in shame."
The proposal was overwhelmingly thrown out of council.
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