How much should local elected representatives be paid?

Dr Thom Oliver was recently invited onto the Emma Britton Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Bristol on Tuesday 3rd September to discuss the proposed increase in salaries for Bristol’s Directly Elected Mayor and Bristol’s local councillors.

elected-officialsThom discussed how the proposed salary compared with other bigpolitical roles, and mayoral roles in the UK, including how the independent remuneration committee had benchmarked against roles of a similar size and scale. The original mayoral salary was benchmarked against that of a Member of Parliament, and Thom discussed that within the private sector a leader managing an organisation of equivalent size and scale to Bristol City Council in terms of staff, budget and revenue could expect a significantly higher salary. Thom also highlighted that even with the increase in the councillor allowance to around £13,000 given the scale and size of their role (a recent audit suggested councillors work around 25 hours per week in their councillor role) councillors were earning around the national living wage or less. This poses a significant question in terms of are we paying our councillors enough, and what are the implications of this salary for the types of people that put themselves forward to be elected?

The full recording, available for around 30 days on the BBC Sounds app can be accessed here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07klm6q with the segment on the proposed mayoral and councillor salary increases beginning at 2:06:25.

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