'Move away' Cambridge councillor Donald Adey will not give up pay

Cllr Donald Adey Image copyright Cambridgeshire County Council
Image caption Donald Adey represents Trumpington ward from his home in Scotland

A councillor living 400 miles from his ward has defended being the only one not to sacrifice some of his allowance in solidarity with staff facing cuts.

Donald Adey, who represents Trumpington on Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridge City Council, "chose not to respond" to a motion in December.

Mr Adey, who lives in Fife, Scotland, refused to comment on claims that he "does no work".

County council staff had to take three days' leave unpaid over Christmas.

Following a vote in December, 60 of the 61 county councillors agreed to give up 1.2% of their allowance - equivalent to the financial loss suffered by staff.

Mr Adey, who moved to Cupar in Fife a year ago, represents Trumpington as an independent after he quit the Liberal Democrats in 2018.

He still claims £10,000 a year in allowances for his county council role and receives an additional £4,500 from the city council.

Mr Adey said he planned to quit the city council next month because it was "hard to cover both bases".

This will allow his seat to be contested during the local elections in May.

Image caption Mr Adey represents a Cambridge ward but resigned from his party after it emerged he moved to Cupar

In order to speak to Mr Adey, a journalist from the Local Democracy Reporting Service in Cambridgeshire travelled to Scotland after he failed to respond to a number of messages.

The councillor admitted that his personal situation was "unusual", but said he still visited Trumpington "on a regular basis" and was keeping up with local issues like the east-west rail consultation and the proposed new station at Cambridge South.

Mr Adey, who also serves as a community councillor in Fife, agreed that he had a poor attendance record at council meetings but promised to be "at the next two".

He also said it was "fair" for councillors to give up their allowances but said he had "not given that matter any thought".

Mr Adey said that quitting the city council would mean he could concentrate more on the single authority but he expected the decision "won't be good enough for some people".

"However many positive steps you take, people will always choose to make a big thing of it," he said. "If my colleagues are feeling they are having too much work, they will have a new member."

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