There is no money – we have to do this to balance the budget – all things the tories say while axing or reducing services you pay for.

And it cannot be disputed that the Government has consistently made huge cuts to the funding of Welwyn Hatfield Council, ‘tightening of the purse strings’ is a reality for our local Council, and then some.

More than simply trimming back, ‘making efficiencies’ and no longer doing many of the things taxpayers expect they have already pay for, the Tories on Welwyn Hatfield Council admit there are increasing “budget gaps” of millions of pounds they have to try to fill.

So amazingly, in this period of extreme austerity, not only has the Conservative controlled Council overseen a succession of cock ups that have cost residents money the Council can ill afford to lose, they’ve actually given themselves huge pay rises as a reward.

In a period where they have lost nearly half a million pounds over a pension arrangement they weren’t aware of and now launched a shambolic attempt to make residents pay for their bins to be collected, they’ve decided the time is right to give themselves a pay-rise.

The Leader of this Conservative Council, John Dean, and his deputy Mandy Perkins sees their salary rise by 58%.

His cabinet, Cllrs Duncan Bell, Tony Kingsbury, Bernard Sarsons, Helen Bromley and Roger Trigg see their salary rise by 68%.

In contrast, opposition leaders have had their salary cut.

To give some semblance of comparison Councillors not in charge of committees or leading groups saw their salary rise by 1%.

Labour have voted against these proposals – twice, when they were first announced without any prior warning, and again only 10 days ago.

Almost every single Conservative Councilor voted to ignore Labours plan to stop these rises (see below), only one did not, Councillor Nick Taylor – who abstained from voting at all.

They clearly don’t think we’re in this together. But regardless of your politics, we really should all be against this together.

The only thing these Conservatives notice is the result of elections. As long as people keep voting for them, they will become further emboldened, and this will keep happening.

The next time they ask for your trust, and your vote – you may want to consider if their words match their actions….

List of Councillors who voted to hand pay-rises to themselves:

Brookmans Park and Little Heath
Cllr Jonathan Boulton
Cllr John Dean
Cllr Stephen Boulton

Cllr Barbara Fitzsimon
Cllr Nathaniel Chapman

Cllr Fiona Thomson
Cllr Helen Bromley

Hatfield East
Cllr Caroline Gillett
Cllr Kerstin Holman

Hatfield Villages
Cllr Duncan Bell
Cllr Howard Morgan
Cllr Lynne Sparks

Cllr Nick Pace

Northaw and Cuffley
Cllr George Michaelides
Cllr Irene Dean
Cllr Bernard Sarson

Cllr Darren Bennett
Cllr Martyn Levitt
Cllr Sara Johnston

Cllr Harry Bower
Cllr Jon Beckerman
Cllr Patricia Mabbott

Welwyn East
Cllr Roger Trigg
Cllr Julie Cragg
Cllr Steven Markiewicz

Welwyn West
Cllr Tony Kingsbury
Cllr Mandy Perkins

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