Bristol mayor's salary 'should be same as MP's'

The new mayor of Bristol should be paid the same as an MP, an independent panel has recommended.

The panel suggested £65,738 would be a fair salary for the post, with £41,086 for his or her deputy.

Some mayoral candidates have already claimed the salary - which councillors will vote on next week - is too high.

Bristol voted in favour of having a directly-elected mayor to run the city council in May. The election will take place on 15 November.

The independent panel found the highest paid of the 15 English elected mayors was in Newham, with a salary of £81,029.

The lowest paid was on a salary of £53,151, in Mansfield.

Two thirds of elected mayors are paid between £60,000 and £69,000.

'Times of austerity'

The Liberal Democrat and Green groups have both responded to the recommendation by saying the new mayor should be paid the same as the current leader - £40,473.

The Labour Group said the salary should reflect that of mayors across the rest of the country.

Jon Rogers, deputy leader of the council and the Liberal Democrat candidate for mayor, said: "In times of austerity it's difficult to justify making it larger than necessary.

"Why give a significantly larger sum? Why not stick with what's there for the leader at the moment and review it after a year or so?"

He said a lower salary would mean "Bristol choosing to spend £25,000 on something more important".

Neil Maggs, the Respect Party's mayoral candidate, said: "Probably around half of that [the recommended salary] is fair.

"Greed and selfishness has destroyed society. We have to stop the path we've been going down."

He said he would rather see the money spent on young apprentices.

Also standing for election are: Geoff Gollop (Conservative); Daniella Radice (Green), Marvin Rees (Labour); and Independents Craig Clarke, Tim Collins, George Ferguson, Spud Murphy, Eric Mutch and Andy Thorne.

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