Tory councillors give themselves 300% pay hikes in homelessness hotspot

Tory councillors have awarded themselves pay rises of more than 300% in an area blighted by homelessness and food banks.

Matt Dormer, the Conservative leader of Redditch Borough Council agreed to a whopping 150% pay rise for himself.

And councillors with special responsibilities will get an extra £5,000 – a staggering 326% pay increase.

The Tories took control of the council last May and are in charge of their own pay for the first time in years.

Labour had previously frozen pay for a decade and its councillors voted against the new rises.

One said: “At the first opportunity these greedy ***** have taken money from council tax to put in their own, in some case already fat, wallets.”

Another councillor was so horrified she wheeled a trolley into the council chamber containing items destined for a food bank.

A source said: “It was a way of pointing out the absurdity of giving themselves more cash when there are people literally starving.”

Tory Matt Dormer is leader of Redditch council

David Bush, deputy leader of the council, previously defended the proposed rises – which saw him land a 140% pay increase.

He said: “We haven’t had a pay rise for long time.

“If we want to attract fresh, young and inspiring councillors we need to be able to offer them a way of living.”

But Labour leader Bill Hartnett said: “I don’t see this as a good option at a time when council tax is rising.

“We should be looking at ways to make it work from our existing budget and be spending the money we have on better things elsewhere.

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“In previous years when I voted against the pay rise, Tory councillors agreed with me when it was put to the vote.

“But now they’re in power they have decided to go for it.”

Cllr Dormer previously pocketed £8,257 for being council leader with a special portfolio.

He will now earn nearly £20,000 – an increase of 150% – if he retains that portfolio when the financial year begins.

Redditch has one of the highest levels of homelessness in the West Midlands.

Figures released by housing charity Shelter last year revealed that one in every 1,007 people in the district were homeless.

The average council tax bill in the area is now £1,823 – a 4.3% increase on last year.

Council leaders rubber-stamped its budget for the coming year on Tuesday, pledging an extra £140,000 for homeless services.

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