Councillors’ pay rise is overturned

CAMBRIDGESHIRE County Council has been forced back to the drawing board over its members allowances after a report that led to a 25 per cent increase was thrown out.

A meeting of the county’s Standards Committee on Tuesday unanimously rejected the findings of an independent panel which recommended the 25 per cent rise, which was approved by full council a fortnight ago.

A council spokesman said: “The Standards Committee reviewed the appointments process and concluded that it was sufficiently flawed that they were unable to ratify the appointments to the independent remuneration panel.

“This means a new panel will be formed and a new report carried out. All three main parties agreed for the report to be carried out and councils are required periodically to review member allowances.

“The Standards Committee found flaws in the process taken by officers to bring the report to full council and therefore should not have been debated and agreed last month by Council.

“Cambridgeshire County Council Chief Executive Mark Lloyd has apologised to the leaders of the Council’s political groups for the mistakes that were made.It is intended that a new independent panel is formed and a report is brought to the next practical meeting.

Council leader Nick Clarke said: “It is very clear from the findings of the Standards Committee that mistakes have been made in the process of bringing this to full council.

“Above all the electorate needs to have confidence in the process and what we do as councillors. That is why I am calling for this to go through the proper process and make sure our residents will have enough time to consider any future report. Making sure we give residents every opportunity to become councillors and break down barriers to prevent this is a very important issue both locally and nationally.”