"Cost of democracy must not go up" says Councillor Andy Kelly
Rochdale Lib Dem Leader Councillor Andy Kelly has made a public plea for the cost of democracy not to go up at the Annual Council Meeting. He claims that Council Tax payers will be up in arms if their were to be any increase in the cost of councillors. The annual meeting of councillors will take place at Rochdale Town Hall tomorrow night at 6.30pm. Members of the public are allowed to attend the meeting.
Councillor Kelly said: "With the next set of local elections not for two years, it would be tempting to try and sneak in a few salary increases for councillors. I am calling for the ruling Labour Group to rule out any pay increases for the next 2 years for any councillor. There are already Councils across the country taking advantage of the gap in elections to increase Cabinet Members, increase the number of Deputy Leaders or give Councillors extra responsibilities with the pay increase that goes with them. I would hope that Councillor Richard Farnell is not planning to do the same."
There was controversy last year when the Council made some of the lowest paid staff redundant whilst increasing the amount of senior officers. Councillor Irene Davidson, newly elected as a Lib Dem Councillor for Milnrow and Newhey said, "This Council must send a clear message to local people that it is not in it for themselves. Any increase in the cost of democracy would fly in the face of this."