Most borough councillors voted voluntarily to reduce their councillors’ allowances by 5% and not to claim travel with the borough boundary, at the Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) budget meeting on 23.2.2011. All 3 Liberal Democrat councillors voted to support the reduction.
However, the vote was described as a “farce” afterwards by the Liberal Democrat group leader, Robin Parker. He said:
The fact is that I formally proposed a 10% reduction in all borough councillors’ allowances at the equivalent SBC budget meetings in both 2009 and 2010, in view of the obvious cuts and impending hard times which were obviously due to hit us, as a result of previous Labour over-spending.On both occasions, in 2009 and 2010, all the Conservative and Labour councillors present at those meetings voted against my proposed cut. Now they seem to be claiming that they thought up this sacrifice. If they really believe in the reduction in allowances, they should have voted with the Liberal Democrats in 2009 and 2010.
Whilst I am happy for anyone to be a late convert to Liberal Democrat policies, it is a shame it has taken 2 years for Labour and Conservatives to do this, because if they had listened to me we could have saved thousands of pounds since 2009 and possibly enough to keep the Museum open for a full week, and/or keep the second Dial A Ride vehicle and/or continue to fund luncheon clubs and/or maintain funding holiday play provision, etc.