The North Norfolk Labour Party has criticised a move by the Conservative administration at North Norfolk District Council to award councillors a 23% pay rise, at the same time closing facilities and increasing charges like car parking fees.
The increase will see 48 councillors’ allowances rise to £5,000 with the Leader of the Council’s pay amounting to double that. All councillors will maintain a £200 broadband allowance, and their dinner budgets will increase too.
In the same budget councillors voted to increase car parking charges by 30p per hour in tourist towns, beach hut fees will rise by approximately 133pc, and some local facilities including toilets have been earmarked for closure.
The local Labour Party’s online petition at www.stopthepayrise.co.uk was signed by hundreds of residents in just a few days, and called on the council to consult with local people to ensure the budget was fairer. It argued the deal was a bad one for North Norfolk residents as well as tourism and businesses. They noted a discount on second homes’ council tax still remains, and council staff pay rises remains capped at 1%.
Stephen Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party (pictured above), said:
“Residents in North Norfolk will be shocked to hear that their district councillors have awarded themselves a 23% pay rise at the same time as cutting services and hiking parking charges and other stealth taxes. Clearly it’s one rule for councillors and another for the rest of us – it is incredibly out of touch.
At the local elections just last May no councillor said they would award themselves a 23% pay increase or impose more cuts and charges. Councillors have ignored the strength of feeling against the 23% pay rise. Despite building up big reserves, they are going ahead with higher charges for residents.
The budget is a bad deal for North Norfolk and we will continue to hold councillors to account, checking attendances, and ensuring they are working for their new increased wage.”