Councillor says he’d get more money being a busker
Allowances to go up by 2.75 per cent
05 March, 2021 — By Richard Osley
Councillor Lazzaro Pietragnoli
LABOUR councillors are incensed that they have been accused of “filling their boots” after voting through a pay rise for themselves.
The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Greens all supported a freeze in the allowances paid to councillors for their work this year.
A couple of Labour councillors, meanwhile, had “connection issues” with their laptops when a vote was taken on the new 2.75 per cent hike in their remuneration on Monday evening. The raises were voted through, however, due to Labour’s overwhelming majority in the Town Hall chamber.
In the run up to the vote, Tory group leader Councillor Oliver Cooper had used the phrase “filling their boots”.
In relation to these comments, Labour’s chief whip Councillor Lazzaro Pietragnoli told the budget meeting: “It is quite unfair because to be honest it would possibly be more lucrative and less troublesome to pay for a licence and go busking in front of Camden Town station than to go through all the process of getting selected to be elected to represent our constituents; to do our surgery work; to do the work we all do across the council.”
He said he received less than £1,000 a month, telling the meeting: “Everyone says to me, you know, I think for the amount of work you do, this is not fair.”
Cllr Cooper said the 2.75 per cent rise was above inflation – which currently stands at 0.9 per cent. To increase allowances three times the rate of inflation, when residents are suffering, I think is completely unacceptable,” he told the meeting.
Camden had seen several years of allowance freezes for councillors and had fallen behind in comparison with other local authorities but opponents to the rise said this year was not the right time for a raise.