As a former North Tyneside councillor, before the last Labour government changed the laws on councillors’ allowances so that they can now seemingly pay themselves what they want, I am appalled by the attempts of Labour members to justify giving themselves a 24 per cent pay increase (News Guardian, February 26).
The claims that North Tyneside allowances were, at £7,806 a year, too low to attract and retain ‘high calibre councillors’ are preposterous.
South Tyneside councillors are paid £7,226 a year, which is £2,500 less than the £9,759 a year North Tyneside has approved.
I defy anyone to compare the seafront at Whitley Bay with the seafront at South Shields and then claim North Tyneside councillors are doing a better job than those in South Tyneside.
In addition, North Tyneside employs an elected mayor at a cost of £63,000 a year, whose job is presumably to take some of the responsibility from the councillors.
Middlesbrough Council also has an elected mayor and there the councillors are paid £6,130 a year, which is £3,600.