I voted with my conscience, claims shunned Barnet Tory councillor Kate Salinger after heated meeting on pay rise issue at Hendon Town Hall

Times Series: I voted with my conscience, claims shunned Tory councillor I voted with my conscience, claims shunned Tory councillor

THE Tory councillor stripped of her committee duties for failing to vote in favour of huge pay hikes for her party colleagues says she took the decision based on her conscience.

Coppetts ward councillor Kate Salinger last night abstained from the vote on plans for increasing the allowances of senior cabinet members and the basic rate for all councillors.

The changes were voted for by 37 of the 38 Tories present, with 22 opponents from Labour and Lib Dems and only one abstention, by Cllr Salinger.

The move will mean council leader Lynne Hillan stands to collect about an extra £20,000 a year, with cabinet member and lead councillor on the issue, Brian Coleman, looking set to earn a salary comparable to that of the Prime Minister when combining his Greater London Authority and London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority allowances.

But Cllr Salinger, said: “I did what I felt was right.

“I knew there were going to be consequences and I was warned against doing it. But as far as I am concerned, I voted with my conscience for what I felt is right.

“It is not easy to vote against your party colleagues, but I didn't even vote against it, I just abstained.”

Cllr Salinger has now been stripped of her role as chairman of the childrens services overview and scrutiny sub-committee and the appeals committee, her position as vice-chairman on the Chipping Barnet residents forum and the licensing committee, and her membership on the corporate parenting advisory panel and the policy and performance overview and scrutiny committee.

She will only remain as a member of the council and the annual council.

Cllr Salinger said the Tory rules state every member of the party should vote in favour of all group policy matter decisions “unless it is a matter of conscience”.

She added: “It was a matter of my conscience, but that wasn't accepted by the party officers.

“My conscience wasn't enough to qualify me for that clause, and that does upset me a bit.

“The Government is telling members not to do this, at a time when many people are suffering and officers are being asked to cut budgets.”

The councillor, who is the wife of former council leader Brian Salinger, said she would not consider standing down from the party.

She said: “I am a Conservative and I am following national Government policy, it is the council who are out of step.

“I had the choice to follow national policy or local policy, and I chose national. I couldn't vote for an increase in pay when public sector staff face a pay freeze, there are redundancies in many departments and people in the wider community are losing their jobs and having wages cut.

“It is not the time to put money up.”

Comments (7)

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5:17pm Wed 14 Jul 10

Jon10 says...

Good for her!

It is a shame the selfish, greedy ones are in charge in the borough.
Good for her! It is a shame the selfish, greedy ones are in charge in the borough. Jon10
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Wed 14 Jul 10

Mr Reasonable says...

Although I am from a different political view to Mrs Salinger I admire her guts in standing up for what she believes to be right. As she says, it is the Council who are out of step with government not her. This is a very bad day for democracy in Barnet.
Although I am from a different political view to Mrs Salinger I admire her guts in standing up for what she believes to be right. As she says, it is the Council who are out of step with government not her. This is a very bad day for democracy in Barnet. Mr Reasonable
  • Score: 0

8:33pm Wed 14 Jul 10

Mr Worried says...

Well done Kate, you are the only bright spark in the whole sordid saga. I'm so glad I shook your hand when you won your Coppetts seat in May. You are a genuine Tory, upstanding and principled, not like the money-grabbing shower who have treated you so disgustingly for having a conscience. Your action will hopefully receive national and international fame.
Well done Kate, you are the only bright spark in the whole sordid saga. I'm so glad I shook your hand when you won your Coppetts seat in May. You are a genuine Tory, upstanding and principled, not like the money-grabbing shower who have treated you so disgustingly for having a conscience. Your action will hopefully receive national and international fame. Mr Worried
  • Score: 0

12:02am Thu 15 Jul 10

mrsangry999 says...

What happened to Mrs Salinger was simply appalling. The bullying, self serving character of this council administration is utterly disgusting. I was present at this shameful meeting last night and my blog has the full story if you want to know what happened. I'm glad to see this story has now hit the media on a national scale: it is a national disgrace as well as a local one and it is time for the silent majority of decent Tory voters to stand up for their beliefs, kick these parasites out of their party, and restore some credibility and integrity to Conservative politics here in Barnet.
What happened to Mrs Salinger was simply appalling. The bullying, self serving character of this council administration is utterly disgusting. I was present at this shameful meeting last night and my blog has the full story if you want to know what happened. I'm glad to see this story has now hit the media on a national scale: it is a national disgrace as well as a local one and it is time for the silent majority of decent Tory voters to stand up for their beliefs, kick these parasites out of their party, and restore some credibility and integrity to Conservative politics here in Barnet. mrsangry999
  • Score: 0

12:04am Thu 15 Jul 10

Caro1000 says...

I applaud her standing up for her beliefs, the only good egg in a bunch of bad ones. Never, have I felt so ashamed at Tory councillors behaving like that when everyone is supposed to be pulling together - in it together? Not them.
I applaud her standing up for her beliefs, the only good egg in a bunch of bad ones. Never, have I felt so ashamed at Tory councillors behaving like that when everyone is supposed to be pulling together - in it together? Not them. Caro1000
  • Score: 0

8:28am Thu 15 Jul 10

poundloss says...

These actions go to show just how much these so called councillors want to do things for their borough. Obviously their priority was the rub the electorate's noses in doggy dodo. Well done to Kate Salinger for not playing "following the leader". Now what we need is Peter Pan to come along and remove that band of rotten pirates.
These actions go to show just how much these so called councillors want to do things for their borough. Obviously their priority was the rub the electorate's noses in doggy dodo. Well done to Kate Salinger for not playing "following the leader". Now what we need is Peter Pan to come along and remove that band of rotten pirates. poundloss
  • Score: 0

11:09am Sat 17 Jul 10

Rog T says...

I am starting a campaign for Kate Salinger to receive an OBE. She is the conscience of the Barnet Tories and god knows they need one.
I am starting a campaign for Kate Salinger to receive an OBE. She is the conscience of the Barnet Tories and god knows they need one. Rog T
  • Score: 0
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