Sunderland Conservatives have confirmed their intention to vote against the proposed increase to councillor allowances.
The Independent Remuneration Panel published its report earlier this week.
The report made the recommendation that the basic allowance be increased to £9420. This proposal would cost taxpayers an extra £78,825 a year.
In the panel's report, it was also stated that Labour Leader, Graeme Miller, asked that its members give consideration to an increase in the basic allowance.
The report said: "the [Labour] Leader requested the Panel to consider the level of basic allowance, in particular by reference to that paid at other metropolitan authorities. It was suggested that setting the level at the median position of that set by others, may be appropriate."
Conservative Leader, Cllr Antony Mullen said:
"As ever, the Conservatives will be voting against the proposed increase in the councillors' allowances, in line with what we told the Independent Remuneration Panel.
"It is a surprise that Labour is voting against this proposal though, given the Independent Panel's report said that it was Labour who asked them to look into an increase to the basic allowance in the first place.
"While we welcome there being no increase, it remains our view that there are committee related allowances that could be cut, with the savings being directed to front-line services".
The Conservatives' proposals to the panel included:
- Further cuts to the allowances awarded to chairs of committees
- Eliminating the allowances awarded to committee vice chairs
- Reducing the amount paid to the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor
- Restructuring the cabinet to remove the deputy members
These proposals would have saved tens of thousands of pounds which could have been redirected to public services.
The full report of the Independent Remuneration Panel with evidence of the political parties' submissions is available here.