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Call for wage cuts as Cumbria council looks for £50m savings

A call will be made next week for county councillors and council staff to take a cut in allowances and wages to help towards savings in the face of continuing government cuts.

Robert Betton photo
Robert Betton

Cumbria County Council has already had to make £88m of savings and in the next two financial years – between next April and the end of March 2016 – it will have find an additional £50m in cuts.

So far the savings have been made without affecting front line services but councillors have previously warned there are tough times ahead.

Councillor Rob Betton, an independent representing the Botcherby division in Carlisle, will propose a motion to the full county council that senior councillors should take cuts of between 10 and 15 per cent to their special responsibility allowances.

He is also proposing that senior managers should take a 15 per cent cut in their salaries.

Mr Betton tried to get the motion put forward at a previous meeting of the full council, but failed to get a seconder.

This time, however, Jim Hamezeian, a fellow member of the Genuine Independent Group who represents the Ormsgill division in the south of the county, has backed him.

Mr Betton said that in the current economic climate people were struggling and officers and senior councillors should set an example.

He added: “The name of the game is to treat things equally – not to give with one hand and take away with the other.”

He said the proposed motion was a direct response to feedback from residents who felt that councillors were following their party lines and making promises they could not keep.

He said: “They are putting their politics and the whips of the parties before people. That’s what they have said to me and I agree with them. If they don’t pass this then shame on them.”

However Stewart Young, the deputy leader of the county council, said that members’ allowances, in line with staff pay, had been frozen for the past three years which was effectively a cut because prices had continued to rise during that time.

The full council meets in Kendal next Thursday at 10am.

Have your say

Prehaps now people will understand what Councillor Betton was on about when he put the above proposal only one other councillor backed him,apparently got a bit of stick in the chamber too, Did your county councillor back him? when they give you a knock for your vote ask them.

Posted by ratepayer on 24 April 2013 at 20:04

anons letter 23 april, well if your not happy in your work find another job,then youll find out what real peoples work is really like.

Posted by goosepimple on 24 April 2013 at 11:27

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