Unions urge protest over councillor pay hike
COUNCIL workers union Unison is calling for North Somerset residents to join them at Weston s Town Hall on Tuesday to object to massive councillor pay increases.
COUNCIL workers' union Unison is calling for North Somerset residents to join them at Weston's Town Hall on Tuesday to object to massive councillor pay increases.
The district's branch of Unison wants people from across the area to go to the council headquarters at 5.30pn to stop councillors voting in favour of the increases.
The pay hike, which would see councillors get a 40 per cent and higher increase in their allowances, has been recommended by an independent panel and will be voted on at a full council meeting on Tuesday.
If the increases went ahead the council leader, Nigel Ashton, would get an extra £11,500 a year and his pay would top £32,000.
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Unison chairman Helen Thornton says the suggestions are 'outrageous', particularly as the councillors have just approved a budget that sees large cuts to public services.
She said: "We urge all those residents of North Somerset who have been affected by the recent cuts to services resulting from the council's below inflation council tax increase to join us.
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"We think it is outrageous that the council can even contemplate increases to their allowances of between 24 and 54 per cent at a time when they have cut services to the most vulnerable people in North Somerset, as well as having made council employees redundant.
"We would like all those people affected by the cuts, including community and voluntary groups, elderly people, disabled people, parents of vulnerable children, and council staff to join our lobby on April 1.
"We need as many people as possible to be there to encourage the councillors to vote against these proposed increases and stop them becoming April Fools.