NO PENSIONS FOR COUNCILLORS

January 20, 2009 11:11 AM

At the meeting of the Constitution Committee on Friday councillors agreed to reject pensions for councillors. They supported the committee chair Cllr Jeremy Hilton (Lib Dem) that pensions should not be introduced for councillors. The committee's decision to say no to pensions will be reported to the county council on Wednesday at Shire Hall, Gloucester.

Cllr Jeremy Hilton, Liberal Democrat leader said: "It would be inappropriate to introduce pensions for councillors at a time when so many people are facing hardship because of the credit crunch. The council's finances are very shaky following four years of Tory rule. To introduce pensions for councillors as suggested would be wrong. That is why I am pleased that the constitution committee agreed with me and said no to pensions for councillors."

The Constitution Committee of the county council met on Friday 16th January. The committee reports to the council on Wednesday for the Full Council meeting at Shire Hall.

Cllr Hilton will introduce the committee report and recommendation to reject pensions for councillors.

Councillor pensions were designed to help encourage new councillors from working backgrounds to get involved in the running of the council and supporting local people. The report presented to the Constitution committee noted the failure of the council to widen the representation of local people who become county councillors.

Cllr Deryck Nash, Liberal Democrat shadow cabinet member for finance said: "There simply isn't enough taxpayer's money to fund a pensions scheme for councillors in the budget without affecting services. Like all institutions with financial investments the county council pension funds are under pressure at the moment while the council itself has already suffered from £12million of investments in the Icelandic Banks. I am confident that at the forthcoming council meeting the recommendation not to introduce councillor pensions will be accepted."