A MAYOR has launched a scathing attack on the Cheshire West and Chester shadow authority over members’ allowances.
Liberal Democrat Cllr Malcolm Gaskill of Vale Royal Borough Council this week lifted the lid on why his party is refusing to back the new authority’s bid for borough status, and claims taxpayers’ hard-earned money is lining councillors’ pockets.
He said: “My party is not prepared to support the bid for borough status whilst this administration is threatening job cuts for its staff and streamlining services for its customers, whilst paying themselves large sums of money by way of extra allowances which most authorities consider unnecessary.”
Cheshire West councillors are paid a basic allowance of around £9,800 a year, which can be increased with extra responsibilities, such as leader of the council or chairman of a committee.
Cllr Gaskill claims some councillors, who are receiving more than one extra payment, can double their basic allowance. In Cheshire East councillors are limited to just one extra payment, irrespective of how many extra responsibilities they take on.
“This is the same system which is approved of and used by over 90% of unitary authorities across the UK - including Vale Royal,” he said.
The Mayor, who is also Lib Dem leader in Vale Royal, is furious councillors from his own party in Cheshire West are excluded from claiming these additional allowances.
“I believe one special responsibility allowance per councillor should be the limit, and all councillors should be allowed to receive that one extra allowance,” he said.
“The administration in West Cheshire would prefer the public not to know about these things. They seem to forget that I was elected to serve my community and to challenge the administration when I think they are wrong, and not to obediently do their bidding.
“How about asking your councillors how much of your hard earned taxes they will be taking in extra allowances next year? If they won’t tell you give me call.
“It is public information to which you are entitled and I will be pleased to let you know - you may be in for a big surprise.”