Donate your pay rise to charity, mayor tells MP

Ledbury Reporter: APPEAL: MP Bill Wiggin, left, alongside Coun Terry Widdows. APPEAL: MP Bill Wiggin, left, alongside Coun Terry Widdows.

THE Mayor of Ledbury is planning to write to the town’s MP asking if he would consider donating his pay rise to good causes.

Councillor Terry Widdows will pen a letter to Conservative Bill Wiggin, along with all party leaders, asking them to consider handing over the 11 per cent pay rise agreed earlier this month.

“The letter I am planning on writing is to Bill Wiggin but also to the party leaders,” said Coun Widdows.

“The reason is that if they are all adamant that they do not want their 11 per cent pay rise, my feelings are they should donate the 11 per cent to their constituency for good causes, if they have to accept it like they are saying.

“This could range from charitable companies getting in touch and bidding for it or also a pot of money that could go against the cuts in services that the county are having to do especially concerning the elderly care sector or even the youth budgets.”

He said he plans to write the letter in the coming weeks.

The IPSA (Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) is set to increase MPs’ annual salaries from £66,396 to £74,000 from 2015, despite opposition from Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Coun Widdows’ plan was backed by fellow councillor Clive Jupp, who suggested any money that should be given up by Mr Wiggin could help keep open the town’s Church Lane toilets which are being closed by Herefordshire Council.

Ipsa doesn’t need to get Parliament’s agreement to bring in the increase.

The rise – due to come into effect in May 2015 – comes as part of a raft of changes to MPs’ salary and benefits which would see some allowances stopped altogether.

Ipsa previously said it had looked at increasing the current salary to anywhere between £73,365 and £83,430, but opted for a lower figure ‘in recognition of the current difficult economic circumstances’.

After 2015, it is expected that MPs’ wages will increase annually in line with average UK earnings.

l Coun Widdows was one of more than 50 dignitaries to be invited on board HMS Ledbury just before Christmas.

The Royal Navy minesweeper called in at Swansea on December 18 on its way back to Portsmouth for routine maintenance and to allow pre-deployment training for the crew in UK waters.

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