Birmingham city councillors should get an immediate 4 per cent pay rise because of increased workloads and the growing impact of social media, an independent report has ruled.

The recommendation has triggered an immediate backlash on social media.

The rise in allowances would mean every one of the city's 101 councillors would receive a £17,227 basic allowance for the year ahead.

Senior councillors would also see rises to the extra payments they get - taking the allowances for top earner Ian Ward to more than £69,000.

The increases are recommended by the council's Independent Remuneration Panel following an annual review.

The proposals come at a time when the city council is in the throes of making scathing cuts to public services, totalling £46 million in the coming year, including 1,095 redundancies - drawing immediate attacks on social media.

Bins waiting to be emptied in James Turner Street in Winson Green during the bin dispute at city council

One backbencher, Coun Majid Mahmood , tweeted:

"At a time of cuts of £690 million to @BhamCityCouncil & proposals to cut the pay of low paid #BrumHomeCareWorkers it would be wrong to increase the allowance of senior councillors..."

 

That triggered further messages attacking the proposal:

Kate Clayton said: "Education cuts...special needs children no money, classroom assistants no money, new roof no money. Cabinet members deserve 8%? Justice? Trust? Politicians?"

Mero #ohjeremycorbyn tweeted: "Absolutely disgusting they take a pay rise and cut homecare workers..."

The council has lost £690 million from its budgets since 2010 amid austerity cuts, and has had to earmark another £46 million in cuts and savings in the year ahead. These include 1,095 redundancies. It is also still in dispute with home care enablement workers over plans to restructure the service - and in some cases cut pay.

How much will your councillors get?

Every one of the city's 101 ward councillors will receive a basic allowance of £17,227.  

Senior councillors - those with extra responsibilities - get separate additional payments. These include (with pay rise included):

Leader of the council Coun Ian Ward : £52,000 (plus basic allowance, total £69,227)

Coun Ian Ward

Deputy leader Coun Brigid Jones: £41,600 (plus basic allowance, total £58,827) 

Cabinet members Brett O'Reilly, Tristan Chatfield, John Cotton, Sharon Thompson, Jayne Francis, Paulette Hamilton, Kate Booth, Waseem Zaffar: £26,000 (plus basic allowance, total £43,227) 

Chair of planning committee: £15,600 (total £32,827)

Chair of licensing and public protection committee: £15,600 (total £32,827)

Chair of an overview and scrutiny committee: £13,000 (total £30,227) 

Leader of the largest opposition group, the Conservatives, Coun Robert Alden: £13,000 (total £30,227) 

Deputy leader of the largest opposition group, the Conservatives: £7,280 (total £24,507) 

Chair of the audit committee: £5,200 (total £22,427)

Chair of the Trusts and Charities Committee: £5,200 (total £22,427) 

Leader of Other Qualifying Opposition Group, the Liberal Democrats (Coun Jon Hunt): £5,200 (total £22,427) 

Deputy leader of Other qualifying opposition group, the Liberal Democrats: £2,600 (total £19,827) 

Birmingham's party leaders: Ian Ward (Lab), Robert Alden (Cons) and Jon Hunt (Lib Dem)

Lead opposition spokesperson (Shadow Cabinet) £2,600 (total £19,827) 

Political Group Secretaries: £2,600 (total £19,827)

'Workload and responsibilities are rising'

In their report, the panel members say the allowances scheme should be linked to the ASHE - Annual Survey of Hours of Earnings - a measure that is based on the full time pay of a local council employees.

This, they say, should trigger a 10% pay rise but instead they are recommending a 4% rise this year and further rises in subsequent years.

The report will be considered at the council's Business Management Committee, which meets Monday (March 18). It says the workload and responsibilities of councillors "continues to be ever more complex."

"This includes attending meetings and events as a representative of the council with local and national partners; together with work undertaken at ward level.

   

"Services previously available to citizens such as CAB, Age UK, and indeed services provided by the council and other public sector providers have seen further cutbacks and decline, resulting in more people seeking assistance from their local councillors.

"Increasingly citizens use social media to contact councillors and expect rapid responses to the issues they raise.

"Whilst the basic allowance paid to councillors in Birmingham does not, and should not, represent a wage, the Panel believes that it should keep pace with increases in local income levels and not be subject to year on year reductions in real terms."

The panel adds it is "very mindful of the financial pressures the council is dealing with.

The business management committee is expected to recommend the increases go ahead, though these must then be approved at a meeting of the full council on April 2. The allowances would then come into effect on May 21.

The panel is chaired by Rose Poulter, who is director at the Centre for Local Government, West Midlands, with members David Grainger and Sajid Shaikh, citizen representatives Sandra Cooper, Graham Macro and Jacqui Francis, along with co-opted members Honorary Alderman Fergus Robinson and Honorary Alderman Stewart Stacey.