Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Press Release: Conservatives refuse to reduce allowances

Reduction in Councillor allowance voted down by Conservatives for second year running
Wokingham Liberal Democrats are astounded that, at the Wokingham Borough Council meeting last Thursday, the Conservatives on the Council voted against reducing the amount of extra money that councillors with special responsibilities are paid for a second year in a row.

At the Council meeting, Prue Bray, the leader of the Liberal Democrat group, proposed that there should be a 5 per cent reduction in the so-called Special Responsibilities Allowance.

Cllr Bray said: ‘For the second year in a row, the Liberal Democrats proposed a five per cent reduction in the Special Responsibilities Allowance to demonstrate that we, as Councillors, are prepared to reduce the amount of money we receive, just as so many hard-working people across the Borough have had to do in the current economic climate. After we proposed this last year, the Liberal Democrat councillors affected asked for their Special Responsibility Allowance to be reduced by five per cent.

‘I am extremely disappointed that the Conservatives failed to support the Liberal Democrat proposal for the second year running. It shows a complete lack of understanding on their part about the economic hardship local people are facing in the world outside of the Council chamber.’

Cllr Stephen Conway, Liberal Democrat councillor for Twyford ward, said: ‘We were not proposing something that would only have affected Conservative councillors. The proposal to reduce the Special Responsibilities Allowance would have affected a third of the Liberal Democrat councillor group too.

‘We hope that the Conservatives will reflect upon their decision and will consider taking a reduction in the future.’

The Liberal Democrat Councillors who receive the Special Responsibilities Allowance will be taking the five per cent reduction that they proposed, and have called upon the Conservatives counterparts to do likewise.