On Thursday July 13th, County Councillors met to consider a report by their Independent Remuneration Panel on the level of the payments made to them as councillors. The IRP recommended a small rise of 1.5% They pointed out that KCC pay levels were already high, and officers had found only 2 councils in the entire country paying more than KCC. They said that KCC staff and other workers in hospitals, police and so on, were being limited to low pay rises. They also said the majority of 30 councillors they interviewed said the pay was ‘about right’.
However, Conservative Councillors proposed out of the blue that their pay rise should instead be 15%. The rise applies not just to the basic allowance of £13,000 that all councillors receive, but also to the Special Responsibility Allowances between £9 to £42K which Committee Chairman, Cabinet Members and others receive. The IRP recommended that should not change at all.
The total cost of the increase is £245,000.
Trudy writes “ I’ve rarely been more angry. The Lib Dems have consistently said that pay for councillors should be set BEFORE the county elections so voters knew what they were voting for. Yet here we were barely two months after the KCC elections, being asked to agree a whacking 15% rise.
Conservative members said they needed to attract younger people to become councillors. True, but you don’t need to do that till the next elections in four years time. In the meantime, it goes into the pay packets of existing councillors. They said they worked hard. Possibly, but so do nurses, police, social workers and others whose pay rises have been far less. They said that the rise was fair compared to lots of other people. Possibly, but the Independent Panel knew all about them, and still said a modest rise was enough
Some extraordinary things were said in the debate. I recommend watching the webcast on the KCC website and that’s not something I do very often!
Only one Conservative Councillor voted against the proposal, saying he didn’t think people outside County Hall would understand such a high rise. Too true! The Lib Dem proposal to accept the IRP recommendation was voted down by all Conservative and Labour councillors.
I have been asked if I intend taking the raised level of my own pay. It’s a fair question. Like other councillors, I use allowances to pay for leaflets and other ways of keeping residents in touch, and in supporting local volunteer groups. So if I do not take the rise, I am disadvantaging my residents compared to others, which I do not want to do. So I shall take the rise, and report back, through Headline, to you on what I do with it. I hope that’s fair.
Watch Cllr Trudy Dean saying no to the Conservative pay rise.
There has been a sharp fall in nurses from EU countries registering to work in the NHS, new figures have revealed.
The Health Service Journal reports that monthly statistics show the number of EU nurses registering with the NMC to work in the UK peaked at 1,304 in July 2016, a month after the referendum, before falling to 344 in September 2016 and then to just 46 in April 2017.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb said: “These figures are profoundly worrying and the possible implications for the NHS and patients cannot be underestimated. The government has to face up to the impact their refusal to guarantee EU citizens to remain in the UK after Brexit is having. It is a political choice they have made and it is going to harm our services, in particular the NHS.
“The government must now change this decision. The result of the election last week gives them the opportunity to change their mind, and they now must. Liberal Democrats are clear that EU citizens whose lives are now rooted in the UK must have the right to stay”.
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Excellent healthcare is at the heart of our vision for Britain. As a leading liberal democracy, our public services should – and can be – the envy of the world. The Lib Dems are committed to making this vision a reality.
Last weekend, Tim Farron and I announced our five point NHS and care recovery plan, which laid out our health strategy for the next parliament – generating an extra £6bn funding boost.
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These priorities include improving waiting time standards for mental health care on the NHS, providing support for pregnant women, and trebling the number of people accessing psychological therapies.
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PEOPLE have been urged to send in their views on the proposed federation of Brookfield Infant and Junior Schools.
Opening in September, the scheme would mean there would be one executive headteacher and single governing body, with a senior leadership structure in each school. Both schools would retain their separate identity in respect of budget, admissions, performance tables and Ofsted inspections.
The proposals were outlined at a parents’ drop in meeting but concerns were raised about the infant school being over-subscribed for the first time this year. County Cllr Trudy Dean said that 22 children, for whom Brookfield was their first preference, have been turned away. They included six who are thought to have a sibling link.
While supporting the proposed federation, Cllr Dean has taken up the issue of admissions with Jared Nehra, Area Education Officer. She urged KCC to consider expanding the school as a matter of urgency to enable it to take at least the pupils who have older siblings in the junior school and Larkfield pupils who have been unsuccessful. A temporary mobile classroom was suggested as the school’s preferred option to accommodate them.
In her response to the consultation, Cllr Dean said: “I think an executive head will strengthen the focus on teaching and learning, and the federation will facilitate inter school co-operation in teacher professional development and cross year working.”
Written responses to the federation proposals should be sent to Rachel Pearson, Clerk to the Governors, c/o School Office, Brookfield Infant school, Swallow Road, Larkfield, or email clerk@brookfield- infant.kent.sch.uk. Closing date is June 9.