Conwy Council leader Charles McCoubrey defends councillor pay rises in wake of 9.9% council tax hike!
No shock here from this man who quite frankly needs to go. He has been the leader for some time but what cuts has he made?
And he claims that the pay is to retain good Cllrs, yet his chum Cllr Andrew Wood should have been sacked and is a total embarrassment to the council, but McCoubrey has done nothing! And what about that building in Mochdre?
It is about time that the council was forced to publish where all the money has been spent and what has caused the overspending so that us poor taxpayers know exactly where our money has been wasted.
Conwy council’s leader defended his cabinet and their pay after some backbenchers called for senior councillor positions and salaries to be cut. At a democratic services committee meeting at Bodlondeb, councillors noted a proposed pay rise before a final decision will be made at a future full council meeting.
The salary increase is set by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW), not Conwy itself, although individual councillors can choose not to accept the amount. This means a councillor’s basic salary will rise from £16,800 a year to £17,600 a year – with the leader set to receive £59,400, rising from £56,700.
The deputy leader’s pay will also rise to £41,580 from £39,690, and cabinet members will be paid £35,640, rising from £34,020. Civic heads will also see their pay increase from £25,593 to £26,400.
The pay rises are controversial in light of Conwy opting to up council tax by 9.9% whilst cutting most services’ budgets by 10%. Cllr David Carr and Cllr Anne McCaffrey proposed that the committee recommended that council looked at cutting extra allowances paid to all committee chairs, but this was thrown out.
Instead, the committee voted to note the proposed pay rise but recommended the council looked at cutting the extra allowances paid to the chair of the democratic services committee and the vice chair of the council. But discussions got heated when some councillors said the cabinet should look at cutting its numbers down from ten and even suggested the leader opt to cut the deputy leader’s pay.
Conwy’s leader Cllr Charlie McCoubrey, (above) though, said he needed a strong cabinet, which meant positions and pays needed to be protected. “We have faced enormous challenges,” said Cllr McCoubrey.
“We have had to make some incredibly difficult decisions. But I want to get paid to do my job properly, and driving forward we need to keep a really close watch on every penny we spend in the year coming up. In terms of the payment to the deputy leader, the world has changed.”
Cllr McCoubrey then listed a long list of his responsibilities and said: “There are an awful lot of calls that take me away from this chamber. So the role of deputy leader is incredibly important. If I can’t make these meetings, I need someone who represents this council really well and fights for Conwy’s share.”
Cllr McCoubrey then warned of a ‘false economy’, adding: “We need to be very careful that we are not throwing the baby out with the bathwater – it’s a knee-jerk reaction. We have to do things in a careful and reasonable manner and provide good services for our residents.”
But Cllr David Carr said: “This council has just put (made Conwy) the highest council tax (rise) in Wales. We have no reserves. If it was payment by results, the public is right: we shouldn’t be getting a pay rise.”
Committee chair Cllr Cathy Augustine also warned councillors about balancing cost and value and reminded the committee that percentage increases in council tax didn’t equate to actual sums, arguing council tax remained higher in Gwynedd.
Cllr Anne McCaffrey said it was ‘hypocritical’ for councillors not to make cuts when councils services were, insisting councillors had a ‘moral responsibility’ to make financial savings. “It doesn’t sit right with me,” she said.
Cllr Mandy Hawkins reminded councillors they could opt not to accept the pay rise on an individual basis but recognised the salary was important to ensure people from all walks of life stood for council. “I won’t be accepting the pay rise,” she said.
Cllr Cathy Augustine said councillors earned the same as nurses and deserved the extra sums, due to the extra work. “We talk about how this cost-of-living crisis has hit people,” she said. “It has hit many people who are elected members, some more than others.”
She summarised: “Rule of thumb: three days a week, and pro-rata-ed up that’s the equivalent (earnings) of a newly qualified nurse. Probably many of us do far more (days than three) than that, and remember lots of our meetings are anti-social hours.”
Cllr Paul Luckock agreed that councillors worked hard for a ‘modest sum’, admitting he had changed his opinion since being elected. “It (the role) has been much more demanding than I anticipated, to be honest,” he said. He added: “I’ll be absolutely transparent. I shall be taking the £17,600 because I think I work pretty hard for that modest salary.”
The increases proposed by the IRPW will be debated and voted upon further at a future full council meeting.
McCoubrey needs to be sacked, if not just for the failures with Cllr WoodReplyDelete
He is such a vile man, how did he get this job?ReplyDelete
he got elected as a councillor and then elected to be leader by his peers.Delete
Sly as hell, I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him!ReplyDelete
Well he got elected so people trust him more than they trust anyone else!Delete
People Trusted Hitler, getting elected means nothing, its what lies beneath the veneer, and as usual it leaks out, or seeps out as time moves on.Delete
They surely did! Might be wrong but I'm not sure Hitler was elected under the same democratic process - you'd be better drawing a comparison with Boris Johnson to make your point - he was elected by the people and then elected by his peers and look what an untrustworthy/unreliable/useless/self-serving person he turned to be? NB i don't associate any of those descriptions with Cllr C by the way.Delete
untrustworthy/unreliable/useless/self-serving person he turned to be? I so agreeDelete
Hitler was elected under the same democratic process in the beginning, but how that soon changedDelete
If you look at McCoubrey in the bottom picture it looks like he is forcing a smile, totally falseReplyDelete
He is as false as hell, and creepy too, and he was elected by his creepy friends. They are hated in Abergele.Delete