Opposition Labour councillors on Southampton are opposing the Tory administration's proposal to freeze councillors allowances. The Labour councillors say the move would mean the role of councillors would be "devalued" by the public. They propose allowances should be increased in line with the minimum wage.

In Southampton allowances are calculated on the basis that councillors work 37 hours a week and that if they were paid the minimum wage this would come to £11,159.20. Strikes me as a pretty fatuous arrangement. What if a councillor puts in less than 37 hours? They still get paid the £11,159.20. Or more than 37 hours? Is Southampton Council breaking the law by paying those councillors below the minimum wage. What constitues work? Canvassing? It generates lots of case work but then it is a party political activity we would do anyway. Attending an annual drinks party of a residents association? Councillors would be expected to show up but does going to a party constitute work.

Anyway the value of a councillor is not the number of hours they put in but what they achieve.

9 comments for: Southampton councillors pay freeze

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