Conservative group rejects ‘wholly unjust’ pay hike to York councillors

Cllr Paul Doughty

York’s two Conservative councillors will reject plans for a big hike in allowances.

YorkMix broke the news on Sunday that the Independent Remuneration Panel is recommending that York councillors receive an increase in their allowances of between 12.75% and 50%.


Today the city’s Conservative Group has described the increases as “eye-watering”, saying:

  • Such increases would show councillors voting for it to be completely out of touch with residents who stand to foot the bill with thousands in extra council tax if approved.

If approved by councillors in a vote on Thursday (19 December) the pay bill for councillors would rise from £652,000 per year to £770,000 per year.

‘Wholly unjust’

City of York Council HQ. Photograph: YorkMix
The Conservative group said councillor allowances were “never meant to be considered a job salary and we do it because we want to make a difference for our communities and the city, not to see what we can get out of the system personally”.

Group leader and Strensall ward councillor Paul Doughty said he given his thoughts to the Independent Remuneration Panel two months ago:

  • I made it clear at the time that I could not support or see any reason for any allowance increases to exceed inflation or indeed salary increases for council staff.

    It would be wholly unjust.

He also had concerns about the timing of the release of the report.

“I was suspicious that the Council meeting agenda published last week had several items marked as ‘to follow’ including this with the full details only being published after the general election.

“The cynical amongst us might wonder if there is a link between this delay in publication and the fact that the council leader for this Lib Dem-led coalition was a parliamentary candidate who fancied his chances in York Outer.”