West Lothian councillors' pay rises agreed

West Lothian Councillors will receive pay rises of between £750 and just over £1000 in April.

By Stuart Sommerville, LDR
Friday, 12th February 2021, 6:00 am
West Lothian council leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick. Stock Picture by Michael Gillen.
West Lothian council leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick. Stock Picture by Michael Gillen.

The new pay agreement, agreed by the council’s Executive on Tuesday, will see council leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick’s pay rise by £1,500, from £35,713 to 37,213 . Provost, Tom Kerr’s pay will rise from £26,785 to £27,910.

The agreement means that annual salary for councillors rises from £17,854 to £18,604 and for the 10 senior councillors, from £26,039 to £27,133.

Committee Conveners see their salaries increase from £22,320 to £23,257. A rise of £937, and vice conveners from £21,204 to £22,095. A rise of £891.

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A report to the Executive said: “Elected members remuneration is set by the Scottish Government. They substitute increased annual amounts of local authority remuneration to members.”

Conservative group leader Councillor Damian Doran-Timson asked what would happen to rises where councillors refused to accept them. Julie Whitelaw, Head of Corporate Service, the pay rises were set by regulation and any monies refused would not accrue to council funds ,though for senior councillors there is a pot of funding where any pay rise could be allotted.

Councillor Fitzpatrick asked if there were still “antediluvian” rules in place from a time when local government was “only open to rich people to hold local office.”

Governance Manager, James Millar explained that the current rules date from the introduction of multi-member wards, but any member could opt not to take remuneration, for instance on being elected as an MP or MSP.