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Kent’s Conservatives vote for substantial increase in Member Allowances

July 13, 2017 6:09 PM

At today's County Council meeting Kent's Conservatives voted to increase member allowances by 15%. Liberal Democrat Rob Birdand other opposition councillors voted against the proposal as did one Conservative. Nine Conservative councillors abstained.

Earlier in the debate Conservative councillors set aside the Liberal Democrat proposal that councillors should follow the advice of the independent Member Remuneration Panel which had recommended a modest 1.5% rise.

Rob Bird, the Leader of Kent's Liberal Democrats, commented after the vote, "It is hard to accept that councillors can dismiss the Panel's recommendations and vote themselves such a substantial increase just two months after being elected into office. Whatever the arguments are for increasing allowances, this should have been undertaken before the recent elections not just after.

"Members put themselves forward for election in May, knowing what the allowances they could expect and many councillors had previously stated that the existing allowance levels were appropriate.

"Ultimately, Kent's electors and tax-payers will be the judge and jury; they are not likely to be impressed."