THE Mayor of Worcester is going to get a yearly handout of £4,300 - despite concerns about it being a waste of taxpayers' money.

Up until now the city's top civic role has offered no payment, meaning the councillor elected to the mayoralty often ends their 12-month stint out of pocket.

The city council has now decided to offer the postholder a special responsibility allowance, with the £4,300 designed to offset some of the costs of the role.

But the move has been slated by the last Mayor of Worcester Councillor Paul Denham, who stood down on Tuesday night.

The Labour politician tried to get the payment scrapped, saying there is "no justification" for it.

"I disagree totally that we should pay an allowance to the mayor - there's no justification for this," he said.

"Being mayor is an extremely privileged position, you get to go around the county, you're invited to all sorts of events like musical events and live performances, where the ticket prices are not low, on front row seats.

"When you become mayor you accept that it will end up taking away a lot of your time, but there's a tremendous privilege that goes with it."

He said he'd "much rather the money was spent" on the security of the gold chains, citing an incident in 2014 where the Mayor of Bury was hit over the head with a brick and had theirs stolen.

It started a debate during a full council meeting, with another former mayor Councillor Andy Roberts disagreeing with him.

"It's a great honour to be mayor, and you don't expect a great deal back (in money)," he said.

"But when you are the mayor, it's an expensive business and you do come out of it out of pocket.

"This isn't a big return, its similar to what cabinet members used to get."

He also said the money reflected "the status of the role", pointing out that Worcester has one mayor compared to three for the Wychavon area covering Droitwich, Pershore and Evesham.

The first person to benefit will be the new city mayor Councillor Steve Mackay, who abstained from the vote over the money on Tuesday and played no involvement in the debate.

The cash is designed to compensate them for loss of earnings, with the city's mayor required to be at functions and events up to seven days a week, often several times a day.