South Oxfordshire councillors reject 10% allowance rise

South Oxfordshire councillors have rejected a rise of almost 10% to their basic allowance.

An independent panel of four residents recommended members' basic pay should be increased by £300 to £3,200.

Their calculation was based on an evaluation of duties and the fact there had been no rise since 2008.

But members rejected the increase with leader of the Conservative-led council Anne Ducker saying it was not the right time amid public sector cuts.

The district council ranks the lowest for basic pay in Oxfordshire.

Mrs Ducker added: "I am very happy at the decision and I think the residents will be very happy.

"Everybody in the discussion agreed this certainly wasn't the right time for the increase.

"I know we are low compared to others... but we feel we are doing this more or less on a voluntary basis, not for the pay."

Council staff have seen their pay frozen this year, but plans have been unveiled to raise the lowest pay by 2% in the 2012/13 budget.

Councillors receive a basic allowance to recognise their time and commitment to the council.

Senior members received further pay, including £10,000 for the leader.

The panel said a "fair" basic allowance should be no lower than £3,400, but this was revised in light of public sector cuts.

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