“Councillors get paid too much!”
Labour Party Councillors are not wealthy elites they are disabled, they are unemployed, they are students, they are working on a low wage, they are single parents just like everyone else across the city. Despite this they get an allowance of £8369.04 compared to a UK national average wage of more than £25,000. Councillors on Sunderland City Council get £1,000 less than some Councils in our region and as much as £6,000 less than one local authority in the region.
“Councillors should take a pay cut!”
They did. Councillors have accepted no increase in allowances for nine years – by default accepting a 21% cut in the real terms spending power of their allowances. Councillors have fully engaged with the pain of Tory austerity, whilst the staff have had very small pay rises, Councillors have had nothing in eight years and will reject a rise again this year. As well as this Special Responsibility Allowances (SRAs) have also been reduced this year.
“Councillors are all corrupt!”
A report was carried out by the law firm Wilkin Chapman in 2018 following a member of the public submitting a complaint. The report found that “no serious corruption involving council employees or elected officials was identified” and it was noted by the then Deputy Leader that “…it is gratifying to note that the report finds no evidence that either officers or councillors have acted inappropriately or against the interests of city council tax payers.”