A HANDFUL of Labour councillors have declined to receive an increase to members' allowances.

A total of six Labour councillors for Tendring Council rejected the increase which was voted in at a full council meeting held on February 21.

The increases to members' allowances - which were put forward by Tendring Council's leader Neil Stock - were not recommended by the Independent Remuneration panel.

It resulted in some councillors receiving thousands of pounds in additional allowances having already received an increase last May.

The Labour group said it believes that this money should remain in Tendring Council's coffers to support local services.

Ivan Henderson, leader of the Labour group, said: “This proposal did not have the approval of the Independent Remuneration Panel.

"The Labour councillors did not agree with this so we are declining to accept the increase.”

The labour councillors who rejected the offer are Mr Henderson, Garry Calver, Maria Fowler, Jo Henderson, Pam Morrison and Bill Davidson,

A spokesman for the group said: "The Labour group does not believe it is right to accept an increase to members’ allowances unless it has been recommended by the Independent Remuneration Panel."

However, Mr Stock has defended the increases stating councillors now have extra work to do.

When the matter was raised at a cabinet meeting earlier this year, Mr Stock told Mr Henderson the matter had already been decided by the full council.

Mr Stock has defended the increases citing that councillors now have extra work to do and the increase in the basic allowance is just over £400.

He previously told the Standard councillors do not have to take their allowance and those who feel they do not need or want or deserve their allowance should not take it.