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Senior Walsall councillors in line for a £6,700 rise

Walsall | News | Published:

Senior councillors in Walsall are set to receive increases in allowances of up to £6,700, it can be revealed today.

Senior councillors in Walsall are set to receive increases in allowances of up to £6,700, it can be revealed today.

The authority is set to agree a rise for the leader of the council, the deputy leader and cabinet members, to take effect from April.

The increases are outlined in a report due to go before the full council meeting next Monday.

It says an independent panel has recommended that the leader is awarded an increase of more than £2,000 to £22,356 per year, while the deputy leader's allowance should be nearly doubled from £8,302 to £15,000.

The allowances of cabinet members would increase from £8,300 to £9,300.

The panel said the increases would narrow the gap between Walsall's allowances and those of other local authorities.

The news comes as 99 jobs are due to be cut at the council in the next financial year.

Council leader Councillor Mike Bird said: "It's not the people the panel has looked at, it is the positions.

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"The independent panel, and they are exactly that, says it is what we should do.

"It is quite a responsible job, and it's even more responsible with the budget situation. You have to pay for the expertise you are employing."

He added: "If you look at the rest of the country, our pay is far below the median."

In the report, it is said that the median or average pay at other councils across the country is £26,850 for council leaders and £17,500 for deputy leaders.

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The report recommends that councillors agree the proposed increases with a long-term plan to bring the wages in line with the median.

Deputy leader of the council Adrian Andrew said: "If you go into local politics for the money, there's no point.

"I do think we should be brought in line with other councils of a comparable size."

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