Response to Ian Geldards Open letter to Spennymoor County Councillors

Dear Cllr. Geldard

We are pleased that you have provided us with a figure of 5% from your County Councillor colleagues as a ‘suggested’ local pay award, to be entirely financed by Central Government as recommended by a number of Unions.

Despite repeated requests today, Labour County Council members failed to provide any percentage pay award detail or verbal analysis on how this figure could be financed. We were not provided with any paperwork.   An amendment to the Labour motion, supported by our Group, to defer their motion pending % pay award detail being provided was subsequently rejected and the Labour motion was unanimously carried.

A theoretical example of this would be:  you arrange finance for a car on someone else’ behalf, don’t tell the person how much they will have to pay, ask them to pay the bill without any detail of cost or terms, not knowing whether the person can afford to pay the fees ??

If Central Government reject the proposal now voted for, will your County Councillor colleagues recommend to find the financial resource locally for this pay award as a signal that austerity is over?  A public consultation document, recently circulated, states that the Local Authority will need to reach savings of £250 million by 2022 i.e. over the last six years the Council has had to save more than £200 million; they estimate as of now, they will need to find a further £50 million of savings by 2022.  Austerity is not yet over and there is still pressure on all local authorities.

Yes, we did support the TA’s to try and prevent a pay CUT that yourself and colleagues voted FOR!  Selective memory working again!

Everyone of us would be willing to support a much deserved pay rise but need to ensure this is not at the expense of reduced Government funding, jobs or front line services, and that it is also manageable within a budget setting.  For that decision we need detail.

Yours sincerely

Spennymoor Independents

Liz Maddison, Kevin Thompson, Geoff Darkes, Alan Gardner, Neil Grayson

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