An independent panel set up to recommend allowances for Surrey councillors has resigned after the council ignored its proposals and awarded itself a 60% pay rise.
Dave Herpe, Fire Brigades Union chair for Surrey, said: â€œFirefighters and the public alike are astounded by the councilâ€™s willingness to award itself aÂ 60% pay hike while local fire stations are being closed, public sector workers have received years ofÂ real termsÂ pay cuts and firefightersâ€™Â pensions are being attacked.
â€œThe Fire Brigades Union in Surrey is currently working closely with the local fire and rescue service to minimise the impact of ongoing cuts to firefighters and public safety, but in this climate itâ€™s inevitable that some very difficult decisions will need to be made.
â€œBy ignoring the pay review panel â€” and the prime ministerâ€™s appeal for pay restraintÂ â€”Â the council has sent a worrying message about its priorities, and weâ€™d urge them to reconsider.”
Earlier this year Surrey Fire Authority voted to close fire stations in Sunbury and Staines, as well as halving the number of fire engines based at Spelthorne.
You can find a petition asking the council to return their pay rises atÂ http://petitions.surreycc.gov.uk/moneygrab/.