IT seems council leader David Hughes and his followers (both Conservative and Lib Dem) have shot themselves in the foot again.

At the council meeting on February 25, in answer to a question, he said there were no plans to reinstate the £1,000 allowance given to councillors to spend on community projects as it was not the best use of public money at this time of ever-decreasing funds.

Less than half-an-hour later he stood up and proposed huge increases in allowances for himself, deputy leader Paul Swinburn, and some committee chairmen, including those of the development control committees!

His chief argument appeared to be that it would upset the independent remuneration panel if councillors did not accept its recommendations!

All this despite restricting staff pay rises to one per cent; despite presiding over some controversial and overtly undemocratic processes and decisions; despite serious planning failures precipitating loss of council control through special measures, and despite desperate economic straits resulting in cuts to jobs and services.

And as if that isn't enough, he expects residents to pay for it through the 1.94% rise in council tax!

Caroline Carver