SOMERSET County Council have denied claims by MP Ian Liddell-Grainger that council leader David Fothergill is looking for a salary of £80,000 when the county’s new unitary authority is established.
In Parliament this morning Mr Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, said the unitary announcement had been an ‘absolute bombshell’ in Somerset.
He added: “But now the senior civil servant Paul Rowsell has agreed that Somerset will only get about 80 councillors, and part of the reason for that is because the leader of the county council wishes to be paid at least the same as a Member of Parliament and he wants all the new councillors to receive between £55,000 and £60,000 a year.”
A spokesperson for the county council said this afternoon: “The claims made by Ian Liddell-Grainger are completely untrue. The MP knows this is false and all anyone interested has to do is read the One Somerset business case which promotes fewer councillors, less costs, and savings for the public.
“The idea that councillors will get salaries is laughable. And the suggestions regarding the level of these payments is equally absurd, as Mr Liddell-Grainger well knows.
“County councillors currently get allowances of around £11,000 per year. District councillors around £3,000 per year. No one in their right mind would believe this would leap up to £50,000 or £60,000.”