New Councillor Allowances Plan To Save Money

Council bosses will consult with unions on the measures which have been put forward as part of £25million worth of savings over three years.

Councillors could take a cut in their allowances as Dudley Council continues to look for new ways to make £25million worth of savings.

The leader of the council, Councillor Pete Lowe, has put forward plans to cut his own leader’s allowance by 10 per cent while the remaining councillors would lose five per cent. The leader of the opposition group has also agreed to lose 10 per cent from his opposition leader allowance under the plans.

It comes amid complex negotiations with unions to look at proposals to introduce changes to terms and conditions for all paid staff as part of a year-on-year £1.5million saving.

New proposals from the elected members following those discussions will protect the lowest paid staff and introduce a pay freeze for those earning above £23,000. The new plans also include three days unpaid annual leave to be taken over the Christmas shutdown period.

The new proposals were agreed by cabinet last night (Dec 14) and will now form the basis of negotiations between unions and their members. Councillor Pete Lowe, leader of the council, said:

“As leader of this council I have made a very clear commitment to cut my own leader allowance by 10 per cent. We are facing some very challenging times because of unprecedented and continued reductions in funding from national government, and it is important as councillors we lead from the front by cutting our own allowances to save money.

“It is only fair to staff and the public that we are in this together in leaving no stone unturned in finding savings. We must also make sure that the savings from staff terms and conditions are fair, which is why we are suggesting the lowest paid of our staff are protected from a pay freeze.

“The original proposals were only ever the start of a thorough negotiating process and finding a way forward in the interests of staff. These measures will still meet the savings we are having to make, but also recognise that everyone will be affected in different ways by cuts.”

The proposals also include a pay freeze for staff earning £23,166 and over (grade 7) and an additional overtime freeze for staff who earn £36,937 (grade 11) and above. It means 44 per cent of staff, the lowest earners at the authority, will be protected from the pay freeze.

The proposals also include a reduction in car mileage allowance from 55p to 45p per mile.

Council bosses will consult with unions on the measures which have been put forward as part of £25million worth of savings over three years.

In the budget report, savings of £18million are proposed for 2017/18, moving up to £23million by 2018/19 and £25million by 2019/20. But the report forecasts that there will still be a deficit of £9million by 2019/20 if additional savings are not found.

The council’s cabinet is proposing a 3.99 per cent increase in council tax which includes a 2 per cent precept for adult social care, (equivalent to 90p per week for a band D property) which will raise an additional £4million annual income. Despite this proposed increase, borough residents will continue to pay one of the lowest rates of council tax in the West Midlands.


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