Council tax is increasing, services are being cut … and Malvern Hills District Council votes senior councillors an increase in allowances.

You couldn’t make it up.

Cllr David Hughes responded almost wistfully that his hands were tied – these were, after all, the recommendations of an independent panel, so what could we do but accept the increase?

The clue is in the word ‘recommendation’.

We councillors have been elected to make these decisions, and nobody was forcing us to accept the rises.

In the same week, Worcester City Council voted unanimously – for the fourth year in a row – to reject an increase recommended by the same panel.

And at Wychavon the discussion was all about whether to cut the allowances!

At a time when our own staff are being told to accept a very modest one per cent pay rise, I for one was embarrassed by this vote – and that is why I have chosen to donate the increase I am to receive to local community groups who I am sure will put the money to good use.

I hope other district councillors who have so benefited will do the same.

Cllr Julian D Roskams

Malvern Hills Green Party