THE BIRMINGHAM City Councillor for Frankley Great Park, who spoke out against members having a four per cent pay rise in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, has decided to donate his increase to charity.
Coun Simon Morrall was one of only three of 101 members who voted against the addition to councillors’ allowances.
He said: “I personally cannot justify a pay rise in the wake of a pandemic that has ruined so many livelihoods and small businesses in this city.
“I know what it felt like to lose everything 10 years ago during the financial crash and I consider myself very lucky today to be able to weather the storm of the pandemic on the public purse.”
Birmingham City Councillors’ allowances are increasing from £17,954-a-year to £18,681.
Coun Morrall, who was the only speaker at the city council meeting to explain his decision, added: “What I am going to say is probably going to be very unpopular with all colleagues.
“As somebody who runs a small business outside of this and during the current economic crisis, I do have some issues with giving ourselves a four per cent.
“Given where we are with the Covid crisis and the small businesses and people who have lost their jobs in this city, it would be seen as a kick in the teeth.
“I myself personally have an issue with accepting this.”
And he added: “We do an awful lot of work for our community and you could make the case that we are underpaid.
“But then I would also argue that we don’t get into public service for the money. We make that sacrifice. “
He said, having been in the public and private sector, he saw both sides,
“I have to think about all my colleagues out there in the private sector who are suffering at the moment.
“10 years ago in the economic crisis I know what it feels like to lose everything and have to walk into the job centre, and to read that councillors have voted to give themselves a pay rise is just not going to sit well with me at all.
“Therefore, I will not be accepting this and I will be donating the pay to charity.”
He added just a handful of councillors voted against or abstained from the vote.