It is now over a year since Rochdale councillors awarded themselves a 34% pay rise – with only the two Liberal Democrat members voting against.
With local election campaigning already in full swing, it is not surprising to see that this is still a big issue for the Rochdale electorate, especially in light of another council tax rise on the way.
At the time we were promised that action will be taken to reduce the size of our council to 40 members – we the public have heard nothing since, and my understanding is that just a single meeting has been held on the subject.
With the public still outraged by this decision, I thought it was their right to know which councillors have taken this increase, in light of some of those councillors now asking for our votes in just 10 weeks’ time.
However, this administration doesn’t want you to know this information, as my freedom of information request was rejected!
I continue to seek this information on a national basis.
I will be a candidate in the coming election in the Healey Ward, and it is a fair question to ask me what I would do if elected.
There are some who are saying that the decision to increase allowances has no bearing on newly elected members, I do not agree, at a time of financial restraint – councillors and candidates must send the right message.
I accept that the role of Councillor is largely a voluntary role, and that is what I am committing too. So here is my pledge, any allowance I accept, if elected, will be LESS than the level paid to councillors BEFORE last year’s increases. Furthermore, I will join like minded councillors in seeking for this money to instead be invested directly into our wards.
Now, for all candidates, from all parties, standing this May – I welcome you to join me in this pledge! It’s time for Rochdale people to see exactly what our motives are. A new rate, sending a new message from a new breed of councillor.
Rochdale never forgets.
Liberal Democrat Candidate for Healey