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Herefordshire Councillors - Underpaid for 4 Years.


dippyhippy
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An admin error has shown that Councillors in Hereford have missed out on two pay increases over the last four years.

 

They will be reimbursed.

 

Public sector workers have had a pay freeze for years, with a paltry 1% agreed for last year. Many have struggled to make ends meet, with an increase in unofficial working hours....(unpaid overtime) and the worry of losing their jobs altogether, as one restructuring follows another.

 

(Just to make clear, I'm referring to front line workers here, not the highly paid, who left with thousands, and sometimes walked straight back into another highly paid role.)

 

Will Councillors accept this "back pay"???

 

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Herefordshire Independents have all agreed collectively not to accept this back payment.

 

Given the financial concerns at Herefordhsire Council, the Herefordshire Independents have decided not to accept this and each current Independent Councillor will be writing too the Chief Executive, Alastair Neill informing him of their decision.

 

Councillor Jim Knipe - (Wormside) and myself (Adrian Bridges) have already written too Alastair Neill informing him that we do not wish to accept this back payment.

 

A comment on Hereford Times website has also been made to this effect.

 

I wonder what the Conservatives will do?

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Hi Dippy

 

Independents want to show the leadership that I believe Herefordshire expects from the council for the next four years. It is showing contempt for public opinion that the stance we Independents take on this is not being echoed by other groups.

 

It's not a question of being 'holier than thou', but a matter of fact that the people of Herefordshire want know what their Councillors are doing. After all, it's their county too!

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The Herefordshire 'Independents' aren't actually independent are they, and according to their recent advert in the Hereford Times they've actually incorporated the 'Unattached' candidates and councillors into their ranks......that'll cost them a few bob in court 😉

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The Herefordshire 'Independents' aren't actually independent are they, and according to their recent advert in the Hereford Times they've actually incorporated the 'Unattached' candidates and councillors into their ranks......that'll cost them a few bob in court 😉

As such my point is; the back pay will come in very handy for the Indys 😊

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Well if someone from the IOC doesn't find the time soon they are going to lose votes so I would have thought it was Important to find the time to let the public know their stance on the back pay! Starting with mine. We all know IOC Keep a watchful eye on the voice so we were to busy out canvassing ain't really gonna wash!

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No response to Dippys question, now there's a suprise. I am disappointed by the apathy of some of the members on the voice. To an outsider looking in, it would appear you are happy to not have the answer to the question put to IOC and of course the Conservatives. I expected more support in calling for a response? It is inherent for people to believe that one party have more morals than another to justify the choices we make, however a lack of response sends alarm bells ringing in my head. Are we about to dump one corrupt and morally devoid Party for another? You can't build on unstable foundations and once you deviate from the right path there is no getting back on track. I don't know about everyone else but the party I will follow and the only party that has any hope of leading our County out of the quagmire we find ourselves in is one that responds to questions from the electorate. IOC your manifesto mentions openness and honesty you are falling at the first hurdle. The answer to the question posed is a simple yes or no, it's also a potential vote winner so I am confused as to why there hasn't been a response from either party? Are we really all in this together, or is it one rule for them and another for us?

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I've just caught up with this.

Most IOC councillors elected today will be new in the post but, if you look at the past expenses claims of our sitting councillors, I think you'll find that moderation and restraint came unprompted.   I think I'm already on record as saying that, in my opinion, anyone claiming £45 pa in expenses is in local politics for the wrong reason.

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No response to Dippys question, now there's a suprise. I am disappointed by the apathy of some of the members on the voice. To an outsider looking in, it would appear you are happy to not have the answer to the question put to IOC and of course the Conservatives. I expected more support in calling for a response? It is inherent for people to believe that one party have more morals than another to justify the choices we make, however a lack of response sends alarm bells ringing in my head. Are we about to dump one corrupt and morally devoid Party for another? You can't build on unstable foundations and once you deviate from the right path there is no getting back on track. I don't know about everyone else but the party I will follow and the only party that has any hope of leading our County out of the quagmire we find ourselves in is one that responds to questions from the electorate. IOC your manifesto mentions openness and honesty you are falling at the first hurdle. The answer to the question posed is a simple yes or no, it's also a potential vote winner so I am confused as to why there hasn't been a response from either party? Are we really all in this together, or is it one rule for them and another for us?

 

This is a council officer error - despite paying for the best - if they had done their job properly - as the best will do - none of us would be debating this and the councillors would have had their rise. So to accuse IOC of being morally corrupt, for something outwith their control, is a step too far, methinks. I would expect my prospective ward councillor to be doing something more constructive than lurking here at this critical time (with all due respect to those that are!).

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This is a council officer error - despite paying for the best - if they had done their job properly - as the best will do - none of us would be debating this and the councillors would have had their rise. So to accuse IOC of being morally corrupt, for something outwith their control, is a step too far, methinks. I would expect my prospective ward councillor to be doing something more constructive than lurking here at this critical time (with all due respect to those that are!).

Forgive me TWG but not sure I ' accussed' IOC of being Morally corrupt? I think you will find I said. "Are we about to dump one morally corrupt and devoid party for another?" It's a question? I'm a fan of IOC but I will hold them to account regardless of any allegiance I may have. As for lurking here at this critical time, I think it's imperative all prospective Councillors are keepin an eye on public opinion. As I said the response is a possible vote winner!

 

My warmest regards

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  • 2 weeks later...
Friday 15th May 2015
Hereford Times News by Bill Tanner, Senior Reporter
 
 
A NEW schedule of “special responsibility†allowances set for the new Herefordshire Council ranges from to £500 to nearly £30,000.
 
All 53 members will have to complete mandatory training before being entitled to their full basic allowance of £7,254.
 
Without completing relevant training, members receive a basic allowance of £5,438.
 
The latest allowances scheme has been agreed following consideration of recommendations by an independent remuneration panel after a review last month.
 
Due to be put to the first meeting of the new full council next Friday (May 22), the allowances scheme is divided into five bands and two categories:
 
* Band 1 - £28,839 - the leader of the council.
 
* Band 2 - £11,750 - cabinet members and the chairs of the two overview and scrutiny committees.
 
* Band 3 - £9,078 - chairman of the council, the chairman of the planning committee and the chairman of the regulatory committee.
 
* Band 4 - £4,540 - chairman of the audit and governance committee.
 
* Band 5 – £1,602 - vice-chairman of the council, vice-chairman of the overview and scrutiny committees and group leaders (plus £124 per group member) – provided group membership exceeds 10 per cent of the council’s total membership.
 
The two categories are:
 
* Cabinet member support team - an allowance of up to £5,875 for these posts up to 50 per cent of the band 2 allowance – subject to the total budget currently allocated for individual cabinet members not being exceeded.
 
* Scrutiny task and finish groups -  an allowance of £500 is payable to the chairmen of any special scrutiny task and finish groups appointed by the relevant overview and scrutiny committee – subject to appropriate criteria being met.
 
Earlier this month, the Hereford Times revealed that Herefordshire councillors had been “underpaid†over the past five years with the money to be made good to winners and losers alike after last week’s election.
 
An administration error showed that an annual uplift of allowances councillors can claim had not applied since 2011 – the year of the last council election.
 
The error was revealed in a review of levels of remuneration for members to be recommended to the new council, with the uplift councillors were entitled to in line with the local government services pay award.
 
Two pay awards have taken place since 2011, a one per cent increase effective from April 1, 2013 and a 2.2% increase effective from January 1 this year.
 
Council chief executive Alistair Neill has apologised to members offering an assurance that processes had been put in place to prevent a similar scenario from happening again.
 
The council is now making arrangements to make good on any underpayments as a result of the error in time for the next allowances payment.
 
Each member is to receive a letter confirming the effect on their payments.
 
Some have already said they will be turning the money down.
 
Figures from the council’s 2013-14 – or latest available - statement of accounts show £643,000 worth of allowances were paid to councillors over that financial year.
 
 The sum broke down to:
 
* Basic allowances: £421,000
 
* Special allowances: £186,000
 
* Travel and subsistence: £36,000.
 
Each member received a basic allowance of around £7,200 with claims made for designated special responsibilities as well as for travel, food and computer and telephone bills.
 
In 2013, councillors overwhelmingly rejected a 10 per cent cut in allowances proposed by two first term members as a contribution to identified budget savings.
 
Herefordshire councillors have consistently claimed that they receive far less than the national average in carrying out their roles.

 

 

Maybe Mr Neill can get the Council's monthly expenditure and contracts up to date. The last figures were for January 2015

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And whilst he's writing a "Things To Do List", Megilleland, perhaps in his role as Acting Returning Officer, he could take a look at the many, how shall I put this, discrepancies, which seem to have occurred during the local elections.......

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