Labour councillors vote for an increase in allowances


by Wendy Johnson

CASH-strapped strapped Labour-controlled Warrington Borough Council has voted to increase its councillors’ allowances, back-dated to 21/22.

Labour councillors voted in favour of the increase, following the advice of an ‘Independent Remuneration Panel’ despite concerns over a recent announcement made by influential credit ratings agency Moody’s, withdrawing the council’s credit rating due to the grounds of its ‘inability’ to produce audited accounts.

Independent councillors stood firm and voted against the motion alongside Conservative Cllr Rob Tynan. The increase will also be paid, retrospectively, to councillors who were not re-elected in the last local elections.

In summary the basic councillor allowances for 21/22 was £8785, in 22/23 it increased by 6.2% to £9329.56. In 23/24 the increase of 10.4% brings the allowance up to £10,299.96. The total increase per annum for basic allowance is now £1.514.96. This figure increases for members with additional responsibilities such as chairing committees. These increases arise from a study undertaken by a specially selected ‘Independent Remuneration Panel’ whose role was to consider an overview of the whole scheme to ensure that the council has an approved scheme of members’ allowances, in accordance with the local Authorities (Members Allowances) (England) Regulations 2023. The IRP made the formal recommendations for the increase in basic allowance for 22/23 and 23/24.


Independent Stuart Mann

Before the vote, Independent Councillor for Burtonwood and Winwick, Stuart Mann, attempted to dissuade members from accepting the IRP’s recommendations and said he would be seeking advice on how to cap his allowance. In his address he said: “With best value inspection still ongoing and its recommendations now not expected until the autumn, as well as Moody’s credit rating, there is a great deal of focus and attention directed towards Warrington and the decisions this council makes.”
He added: “This, coupled with the ongoing cost of living crisis persuades me that now is not the time to be voting on such matters.”

Conservative Councillor for Rixton and Woolston, Rob Tynan commented: “I voted against an increase in councillor contributions. While Warrington councillors receive one of the lowest remunerations in Cheshire, I could not vote for an increase as being a councillor is about serving my community, not myself.” He added: “At this meeting, all Labour councillors voted for an increase, this is the same Labour group that has put our town in £1.8bn in debt and now lost its credit rating. Wherever Labour is in power, poorer services and higher taxes will follow.”
It is understood the Liberal Democrats votes varied from approval of the recommendations to against, with one abstention.

Town Hall chiefs

Cllr Denis Matthews

After being approached for comment on the increases Labour’s Cllr. Denis Matthews Cabinet Member for Finance, Assets, and Investments said: “At the Meeting of the Council, held on 17th June 2024, it was voted to agree the recommendations from the Independent Remuneration Panel(IRP) regarding member basic allowance 2022/23 and 2023/24. In accordance with the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances ) (England) Regulations 2003, as amended, the Council is required to recommend a scheme of members’ Allowances each year.
“The Independent Remuneration Panel(IRP) made their recommendations noting the low level of basic allowance compared to other Councils. For example, the basic allowance for a councillor in a comparable nearby local authority stands at £14,460. After the agreed increase, the new basic allowance for each member of WBC will be £10,299.96 per year.
“The Warrington Labour Group is at all times mindful of the financial pressures faced by all councils in England, and I can confirm that the increase in the Basic Councillor Allowances will be contained within the existing revenue budgets.”

Allowing a free vote within their group the Liberal Democrats voted different ways on the proposal for increases in their attendance allowance at the Warrington Council meeting on Monday.
Group Leader Cllr Mark Browne said: “This is a sensitive topic and we discussed it at our Group meeting held before the Council. Colleagues had different views and listened to comments made at the Council meeting before casting their votes. It would have been wrong to impose a party whip telling people how to vote.
“On one hand, we were very conscious that there is a cost of living crisis and for us to be voting in favour of a reasonable increase for ourselves could be seen as giving the wrong impression. This was my view.
“On the other hand, the increase was the considered recommendation of an Independent Panel and if we ignored this, we might as well abandon this Panel. Compared to many other councils, Warrington’s allowances are on the low side and it is important that good people are not put off standing for Council in the future. Many Councillors are also Parish or Town Councillors and they are volunteers who receive no allowance.”


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  1. Can’t believe the cheek and audacity of the councillors most of which are labour.
    They put they town 2 million pounds in debt and then rub salt in the sounds then voting for a increase in their allowances

  2. and people keep voting for them, not one off them has warringtons interests at heart, they keep will keep promising you the world and rob you when you not looking, they all ok as well as putting more strain on locals by increasing council tax which you cannot afford they just laugh at how dumb you are whilst pocketing another brown envelope

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