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Cambridgeshire County Council leader proposes pay cut for members as 'gesture of unity' with staff

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"We are in this together" is the message Cambridgeshire County Council leader Steve Count is keen to give to staff at the local authority.

Councillor Steve Count. (4661661)
Councillor Steve Count. (4661661)

In early October the council announced the workforce would have to take three days unpaid leave over the Christmas period - which equated to a 1.2 per cent pay cut for the coming year as the money would be deducted from salaries over the following 12 months.

The move was aimed at cost cutting and the potential for unpaid leave had been negotiated with unions previously, but had never been acted on. Only those earning £25,000 or more would be affected.

Now Councillor Count is planning to put a motion to the full council in December calling on all parties and members to unite a take a decrease in their allowances equivalent to the workforce cut of 1.2 per cent.

Councillor Count said the move comes following discussions between his Conservative group and the Labour group leader Councillor Joan Whitehead.

He said: "We are united in sending a message to our staff that we are in this together.There are only nine councillors (including myself as leader) paid above the £25,000 threshold but my group are unanimous that each and everyone us will take the reduction. I ask that leaders of the other groups and all members show their commitment to this course of action by voting for our motion in December.

"As councillors we do not have a holiday entitlement the same as the workforce, therefore the three extra days extra unpaid leave will not apply to us.

"Enacting this clause in the workforce’s contract was necessary due to the well-known and unprecedented demands on our budget. The savings generated by this motion from councillors will be approximately £9,000 compared to the significant £900,000 we will save from the staffing budget. I therefore recognise that our saving contribution is more a gesture of unity than financially significant."

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