Chiefs take a pay cut

COUNCILLOR Janet Battye will continue to be the leader of Calderdale Council.

And Labour leader Tim Swift will remain as her deputy.

Following the recent elections, both the Liberal Democrats and Labour have 13 members, giving them over half of the total council membership.

At the annual general meeting on Monday the parties said they wanted to continue working closely in a shared Cabinet for the coming year.

Councillor Battye said: “We want to make certain that the work started last year to give Calderdale a ‘fresh start’ is carried through. In particular we will be concentrating on protecting front-line services for local people and continuing to make the council more open and responsive to local wishes.”

Councillor Swift added: “We have agreed with the Liberal Democrats that we should continue to work together, and in particular, to focus on making sure that the Council continues to provide the key services that make a difference to everyone’s lives and communities.”

Councillor Battye has agreed to accept a £3,000 pay cut as leader of the council receiving £26,738 and Coun Swift will receive £13,369. Their plan also includes enlarging the number of Cabinet members from five to six as well as the leader and deputy leader.

This means the cabinet will have eight seats so that the alliance partners can enjoy equal representation on the powerful committee.

Councillor Battye said: “The size of the Cabinet is being increased by one member because of the amount of work that needs to be done around education and children’s social care. However, I am also very well aware of the need for the council to keep a close control of every aspect of spending. Because of this, every member of the Cabinet I intend to appoint has agreed to claim a reduced amount so that the total cost of the eight-member Cabinet is no more than the cost of the previous seven-member Cabinet.”

Portfolio holders will now receive £10,696 instead of £11,918.