Members of Wellington town council voted to increase the annual allowance for councillors from £200 a year to £280, the first rise for 11 years. There was a vigorous debate before the decision. Cllr Marcus Barr said: “ I don’t think we should be paid for being a councillor as so many people in the community give their time to groups for free. I won’t claim my allowance this year or next.”
On a different point, Cllr William Brown said: “If we are going to change the allowance then it needs to be adjusted for inflation, not just stick £80 on it.”
However, Cllr Lithgow pointed out a potential problem. “I don’t think we want to create an elitist group who can afford to be a councillor, so I don’t think we should go down the route of not having an allowance.” The proposal for an £80 increase was narrowly carried by 5 votes to 4.