Council bosses agree to pay cut

Council Leader Simon Blackburn
Council Leader Simon Blackburn
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COUNCILLORS have voted for a pay cut for themselves which will help make savings of £44,000 a year at the town hall.

Blackpool Council agreed to the changes which see a five per cent cut from all special responsibility allowances paid to councillors over and above their basic annual allowance.

Leader Coun Simon Blackburn said the public expected councillors to make financial sacrifices.

He told a meeting of the council: “People out there are struggling and we have to give them a clear signal of our intent.

“A five per cent cut will mean me losing £1,000. We have to show the people out there that we would rather lose money ourselves than lose more staff.”

He added other changes, including a restructuring of senior management were among a number of measures introduced to cut costs.

First class rail travel will also be scrapped.

Coun Blackburn said: “As well as linking our pay to our lowest paid staff, and making sure there is no first class travel on the public purse, we have also abolished committees and posts.”

Conservative group leader Coun Peter Evans said Blackpool councillors already lagged behind other local authorities in terms of their remuneration.

He said: “Blackpool councillors are on the whole poorly paid. We have to pay a reasonable price to get people of a reasonable calibre to run the council.”

But Lib Dem Coun Douglas Green said most councillors did not stand for election for the remuneration.

He said: “If it was only for remuneration, the vast majority of people wouldn’t stand.”

The council voted in favour of the cut, with one abstention.

Special responsibility allowances paid by Blackpool Council include £20,998 paid to the council leader, £11,999 paid to the deputy leader and £5,998 paid to cabinet members.

As part of the package of changes, all travel by rail must in future be standard class.