Conservative controlled Worcestershire County Council is saving £22,000 by freezing the allowances it pays to councillors. It is also modestly scaling down its planned Council Tax increase from 3.5% to 2.94%. It has still found money for improved footpaths and and anti flooding measures.

They carried out a consultation exercise although they scarcely needed to know that Council tax rises are unpopular or that freezing member allowances would be welcome.Apart from saving some money and pleasing voters it also sets an example to council officers when asking them for savings.

On the other hand the less money councillors get in allowances the more pressure some are under to earn money from elsewhere thus giving them less time to trying and keep a grip of what the Council is doing. Not all councillors are retired. Of course the thing about a democracy is that once elected some councillors do not very much and pocket the money while others work very hard and probably end up earning the equivalent of below the minimum wage for the number of hours they put in.

But surely in a recession freezing councillor allowances is a reasonable gesture?

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