SUNDERLAND City Council’s cabinet has approved a controversial increase of the deputy mayor’s allowance, which will see it boosted by 50 per cent.
The current holder of the post – Coun Stuart Porthouse – will now be entitled to a special responsibility allowance of £5,735 – up from £3,827.
The increase will come into effect immediately, after cabinet members approved the recommendation from the Independent Remuneration Panel at their meeting yesterday.
The previously unpaid post of member of the adoption panel will now be subject to a special responsibility allowance of £4,184.
As reported in Tuesday’s Echo, members had been urged by Tory opposition and Unison to reject the hike, at a time when the council has to make savings of £110million over the next three years, and council staff face a single per cent pay increase on the back of a three-year pay freeze.
Coun Patricia Smith said: “We are buying raffle tickets, and being asked for donations, being asked to support things and we do it.
“The thing is, councillors are forever buying things and putting their hands in their pockets and they don’t say anything.”