CITY councillor's pay will rise next year - but not as much as first thought.

Councillors from Worcester City Council voted for their own two per cent pay rise next year - an amount lower than the 3.2 per cent increase that was recommended to them.

The two per cent increase means every councillor will get at least an extra £86 next year - pushing the basic allowance up to £4,386.

The independent remuneration panel (IRP) – the body tasked with looking at how much councillors should be paid – had recommended a higher increase after a pay rise was rejected last year.

At a meeting of the city council on Tuesday (February 19), Councillor Louis Stephen said the council needed to be able to attract candidates from all walks of life and how much they were paid could depend on whether somebody from a poorer background puts themselves forward or not.

He said: “Nobody really becomes a councillor for the money. But for some people juggling other jobs and caring responsibilities, the councillor’s allowance could be the difference for somebody who is on a low income being a councillor or not.

“So on that basis, I think we need to at least keep pace with inflation to make sure that everybody can become a councillor if they wish to do so.

Cllr Stephen said he did not think a councillor’s pay should increase by the recommended 3.2 per cent as it would send the “wrong message” but a two per cent increase was “reasonable.”

Cllr Marc Bayliss, leader of the city council, said: “I think this is affordable, proportionate and in line with the independent remuneration panel has recommended so therefore I am happy to support this.”

The new list of recommended allowances comes after the council agreed in principle to switch from a cabinet to committee system in November 2016 and was ratified in May 2017.

Following the change in style, the IRP agreed to take another look at how much councillors and chairman of committees are paid once the new system had been up and running for at least a year.

The panel recommended a one per cent increase in 2017/18 meaning a basic allowance would have gone up by £50 to £4,300 but that was ignored so the council could carry out the review.