Kirklees councillors have clashed over a controversial rise in money paid to elected members.
Councillors Kath Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) and Steve Hall (Lab, Heckmondwike), are at odds over a decision by Kirklees Council this month to give extra allowance money for heads of Area Committees.
Coun Pinnock was against the rise, which will see heads of area committees given a maximum allowance of £7,365 per year, almost treble the current allowance of £2,500.
She added: “This will raise the amount the council gives to its area committee chairs by about £12,000 when we are cutting services. There is no way councillors should be getting a bigger share.
“I think people out there would love it if they were given a £5,000 pay rise for their jobs – but most people’s pay has been frozen.”
Area committees are given a budget each year to hand out grants to community projects.
Coun Hall, who is the current head of the Spen Valley Area Committee, defended the decision, and said the number of area committees was set to reduce from seven to four, meaning the new chairs would have a bigger workload.
“We are not just putting them up for the sake of it, “ he added. “They may have to take time off from their jobs to do the extra work.
“I think they Liberals are annoyed because they are not going to have a chair on the groups – I think a lot of this is sour grapes.”
Coun Robert Light (con Birstall and Birkenshaw) added: “It is unjustifiable and we stand by that, especially as it is often individuals who have other jobs.
“It is absolutely bonkers.”