COUNCILLORS will be paid at least £89 more after Wychavon District Council voted for a pay increase of two per cent.

The district council, which covers Hartlebury, went along with the recommendations of the independent remuneration panel (IRP) and voted for its own pay increase to boost the basic allowance for councillors to £4,526 a year.

The increase means the leader of Wychavon District Council will receive an extra £267 next year – pushing his allowance up £13,578 – and the deputy leader’s allowance will rise by an extra £156 to £7,921.

Councillor Dan Boatright, who represents Pershore, said he was against the increase and would be donating the difference to charity.

The council’s six portfolio holders will all receive £6,789 for their respective roles on the executive board and the chairman of the planning committee will also receive the extra £133 after the council agreed to the increase.

The council decided to vote against all of the recommendations in the IRP’s report, as it has done traditionally for several years, and decided the chairman of the planning committee should be paid the same as other portfolio holders.

Cllr Bradley Thomas, leader of Wychavon District Council, said: “The rationale for this being that the workload for the chairman of planning is incredibly busy, particularly as we are going through the South Worcestershire Development Plan review process.

“There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that takes place and I do not feel that a multiple of one [for the allowance on top of a councillor’s basic allowance] is a fair representation of the workload of the role and I say that as a former chairman of the planning committee myself.

“There are several former chairmen of the planning committee in the room who I am sure would echo what I have just said and the rationale behind this.”

Cllr Margaret Rowley, leader of the council’s Liberal Democrats, endorsed the allowance increase – particularly the traditional rise for the chairman of the planning committee.

The chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee will receive an extra £133 – pushing the allowance up to £6,656 a year.

The chairman of the licensing committee will receive £1,358 a year.

The chairmen of the audit committee, member conduct committee and each political group leader will each receive £1,109 on top of their basic allowance.