Bristol

Bristol mayor's salary to be decided

Bristol City Councillors will make a decision later on the salary of the new elected mayor of Bristol.

An independent panel has recommended the post should be paid the same as an MP at £65,738, with £41,086 for his or her deputy.

Liberal Democrat and Green Party councillors are expected to argue the pay should be the same as the present leader of the council, set at £40,000.

The election is due to take place on 15 November.

The Conservatives have said they do not believe a vote should be held on the salary until it is clear what the mayor will be required to do.

Liberal Democrat councillor Gary Hopkins will propose the lower figure at a council meeting on Tuesday night.

"People shouldn't be doing the job of mayor because they want the money," he said.

"Clearly people have to be paid a reasonable allowance otherwise they couldn't afford to do the job but I don't see why they should be paid a huge amount."

Labour accepts the panel's recommendations and has been quick to criticise the Liberal Democrats.

"I think they're living in cloud cuckoo land," said Labour group leader Peter Hammond.

"What they're in fact suggesting is a mayor of Bristol with wider responsibilities than the leader of the council should in fact be paid £11,000 a year less (the additional allowance paid to the leader).

"I think they lost the referendum and they're continuing their opposition to mayor by this particular device. I think it makes the council and themselves look absolutely ridiculous."

The independent panel found the highest paid of the 15 English elected mayors was in Newham, with a salary of £81,029.

The lowest paid was on a salary of £53,151, in Mansfield.

Two thirds of elected mayors are paid between £60,000 and £69,000.

Standing for election are: Jon Rogers (Liberal Democrat); Neil Maggs (Respect Party); Geoff Gollop (Conservative); Daniella Radice (Green), Marvin Rees (Labour); and independents Craig Clarke, Tim Collins, George Ferguson, Spud Murphy, Eric Mutch and Andy Thorne.

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