Senior Stoke-on-Trent Labour councillor quits party over pay cuts for workers
A SENIOR city councillor has quit the Labour party over plans to cut workers' pay.
Andy Lilley resigned in an email to leader Mohammed Pervez last night amid a growing row over Stoke-on-Trent City Council's proposed £2 million cuts to staff terms and conditions.
Mr Lilley, a trade unionist and former city council employee, was chairman of the authority's business services scrutiny committee.
He will continue to represent Baddeley, Milton and Norton as an unaffiliated member.
Unions say hundreds of the authority's lowest paid front line workers will lose thousands of pounds under the council's plans to cut allowances paid to staff for working nights and weekends.
They claim middle managers and the highest paid workers will escape big losses.
Mr Lilley said: "If the proposed £2 million cut were to be evenly shared out across all levels of the council employees, I would have reluctantly accepted the saving proposal.
"But as things stand today, these cuts are clearly being directed at the lowest paid and most vulnerable of our staff.
"I have yet to see any evidence that contradicts the current state of play on this matter, although I have made numerous requests for information that would show a fairer distribution of the proposed cuts."
Mr Pervez said the resignation will not 'distract' him from his strategy to revive the city's economy and blamed the Government's austerity measures for controversial cuts.
The resignation leaves Labour with 32 of 44 seats in the council chamber .