Councillors are giving themselves a pay rise – in the same week council tax is hiked and free black bin bags scrapped.
And council leader Pete Marland is set to get the best deal of all, the Citizen can reveal.
The news that an extra £4,500 is to be spent on councillors’ expenses is set to enrage households already furious after receiving last week’s council tax bills.
In the same envelope as the 1.9 per cent inflated bill was a notice informing people they would no longer receive free black sacks for their rubbish.
The buy-your-own policy will save the council around £140,000 a year – exactly the same amount as the new ‘corporate director of place’ post created by council bosses last week.
At the same time, 90 council staff face redundancy and potential pay freezes.
This week, seemingly unaffected by the financial chaos, the leading Labour group published its plans to up councillors’ allowances.
Currently each councillor receives £9,962 a year, but from May they should be earning £10,000, say Labour. Cabinet members’ allowances will also increase from £10,753 to £11,000.
The biggest rise is set to go to Mr Marland who will pocket an extra £375 when his leader’s allowance rises to £30,000.
Already one opposition councillor has slammed the expenses hike as “scandalous”.
Lib Dem Sam Crooks will campaignagainst it – but if it is voted through, he has vowed to refuse his personal increase.
He said: “We can’t be seen to be feathering our own nests while imposing £22million of cuts on everybody else.”
Meanwhile other opposition councillors are predicting a black sack uprising from the public - as well as health and safety problems.
“People will be forced to buy cheaper, thinner sacks and these will inevitably split and strew rubbish all over our streets. This will lead to a huge rat problem. It’s a false economy,” said one source.
Council leader Pete Marland said: “The proposals are from an independent body and their recommendations will be discussed by the whole council.
“I do not intend to accept any rise in the allowance for Leader and I do not believe the proposals will secure the support of members of the council.”