Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Copeland Council to vote again on Mayor's salary

An independent panel has again recommended that the salary for the Directly Elected Mayor of Copeland should be £50,000 which was the original panel recommendation and the figure put in the budget.

 Even if this is approved the mayor of Copeland will still be the lowest paid Directly-Elected Mayor in the country.

I don't normally support inflation-busting pay rises for local government leaders, but this is a special case and I have written to the Whitehaven News today to say so.

The only reason the Mayor of Copeland is not already paid £50kpa was a disgraceful act of party-political sabotage by the outgoing Labour administration. They never wanted to have a directly-elected mayor, the position was forced on them by the voters of Copeland in a referendum. So they decided to wreck the election by nobbling opposition candidates.

At the very last minute, having already put £50,000 in the budget, the Labour majority group on the outgoing council used a party-line whip to force through a cut in the Mayor's salary to £30,000. This would not have got through the council without the party whip - we know that some Labour councillors were very unhappy at being forced to vote for this destructive measure.

This was clearly an attempt to put the declared opposition candidate - e.g. me - in an invidious position and discourage any other potential opposition candidates from coming forward. Mike Starkie, who was ultimately elected, was the only one who did.

I hope that the new panel recommendation to put the salary back to the original level is approved.

2 comments:

Jim said...

Im not one for high politician wages either, but I would be pleased to see this done. It was a deliberate snub to the public from the labour council, who were unhappy at the time that "the plebs" had spoken.

Chris Whiteside said...

Indeed.