As a former Conservative District Councillor who lost his seat along with seven other Conservatives in the recent ‘May’ local elections ( due and let’s be honest, more to Theresa than the promises made by the Lib Dems ) I feel I am in a strong position to respond to the hypocrisy contained within your article on ‘Councillors increase their pay’ published on May 16.

Together with my fellow Conservatives, I spent many years trying to keep the costs of running Cotswold District Council to a minimum whilst listening to Cllr Joe Harris challenge us with cries for more affordable housing, greater social mobility and greater transparency!

Throughout the election we were bombarded with Lib Dem cries of ‘Its time for a change’ and the need for ‘a fresh start!’

So what was the first and only item on the agenda of the new Lib Dem run council on May 14?

A recommendation to increase members allowances by 25 percent index linked (not an 11 percent increase misquoted in your article of May 16) put forward by Mike Evemy the new deputy leader in charge of finance!

This was voted through by all the Lib Dem Councillors with only the Conservatives voting against!

Added to which Cllr Joe Harris announced he was increasing the cabinet from six members under the Conservatives to nine (five of whom are new councillors) because of ‘the initial additional workload’.

These combined increases amount to a massive £55,000 cost to the taxpayer or more than a 1 percent increase in our Council tax and all agreed before the Lib Dems have done a days work! Not bad going Cllr Harris!

Typical of Cllr Harris, the decision was justified by the ‘recommendations of an independent panel’ and blamed it on ‘the previous administration!’

So in the ‘interests of transparency’ Cllr Harris.

The Lib Dems voted this 25 percent index linked increase through with only the Conservatives voting against the increase before you have even started to work on behalf of the residents of the Cotswolds!

So Cllr Harris - I totally agree with you.

In your own words, It certainly is ‘a fresh start’ and pretty soon our residents will be saying ‘it’s time for a change!’

David Fowles

Former Cotswold District Council Cllr for The Ampneys