Councillors could be set to give themselves a pay rise in a move that would cost Wokingham’s taxpayers almost £8,000.

The News understands that each councillor could receive £134 more in allowances for the forthcoming year - taking their totals to £6,818 each.

This is set to bring allowances in line with a two per cent officer pay rise from earlier this year, in a decision that would be backdated to April 2018, if it is approved by the authority.

Labour councillor Andy Croy said: “For the last few years only Labour councillors have consistently voted against the annual rises.

"We see the effects of Tory austerity all the time. From school crossing patrols being cut to save money, restrictions on the provision of adult social care and swinging increases in fees and charges it is simply not right that councillors should carry on as though everything is fine.

“Everything isn't fine and it is time councillors from other parties listened to the public."

Labour councillors asked the borough’s residents for their thoughts on the potential pay increases in the town centre recently.

Cllr Croy added: “A massive 84 per cent of the people we spoke to said there should be no pay rises for councillors.

"We are delighted with the results of our consultation - unlike the Tories we will be listening to the public and we will be voting against the pay rise."

The increase means the council would pay out £368,000 a year in allowances for councillors who do not hold executive roles.

The leader of the council is also set to see her allowance rise.

Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor’s allowances would increase by £2,500, taking her allowances to £22,500.

The leader of the council has not seen an allowance rise since 2009 and it is understood a report from an independent panel of Wokingham residents claimed the leader’s role “is comparable to the Chairman of a multimillion pound enterprise, and that it is essentially full time”.

However it is also understood that the leader of the opposition, Liberal Democrats councillor Lindsay Ferris, is set to receive a pay decrease of £2,500.

The additional £7,500 he received was deemed to be “excessive” by the independent panel, and a new formula suggested by the group means that his additional income will be reduced to £5,000.

The leader of the opposition will also receive an additional £100 for every elected Liberal Democrats councillor - meaning he would receive £5,800 in total.

The leader of the Labour group, Andy Croy, will also receive £100 for the each of three elected Labour councillors.

The council could also introduce an upper limit of £100,000 for allowances for executive members and deputy executive members.

Members and the chairman of the council’s planning committee are set to receive an allowance increase too despite suggestions Wokingham Borough Council is the only unitary local authority that pays both its planning committee members AND the chairman additional fees.

From April 2019, members of the planning committee will receive £1,500 a year, whereas the chairman is set to be given £6,000 per annum for their additional work in regular site visits.

The News has learned that the independent remuneration panel (IRP), which reviews councillor allowances yearly, was disappointed with the lack of involvement from councillors on the issue of allowances.

Surveys asking for councillor’s thoughts on the allowances policy were sent out to all of the council’s members but less than half were sent back.

It is claimed the IRP had asked councillors to be more proactive in working with the panel, and even extended the time limit twice for councillors to get involved, but still received one less response than last year.

Of the members that replied to the IRP’s survey, nearly 40 per cent of councillors commented that the allowances were below a normal rate, while the remaining 62 per cent agreed that the allowances scheme “fairly meets the expenses incurred”.

Councillors are set to discuss the findings at a full council meeting on Thursday, November 22.

The Conservative group and the Liberal Democrats group were contacted for comment.