AN outspoken councillor has inferred staff working for Wellington Town Council can ‘like it or lump it’ if they were unhappy about their salaries.

Cllr John Thorne said he did not favour staff receiving a pay rise because the authority was taking on extra services from cash-strapped Somerset Council.

“I wouldn’t be in favour of there being a staff review of pay,” he said. “We pay our staff very well for what they do, and they do a good job.”

Cllr Thorne had opposed a council pay review held 18 months ago as ‘not justified’.

“But if we had that review now, I would favour it,” he said, but could not support a second review so soon after the one in October, 2022.

Cllr Thorne said: “If our staff don’t feel as if they are being paid enough, they can go and get jobs elsewhere.

“There will be plenty of people available to fill those roles (referring to Somerset Council redundancies), although that might sound harsh.

“The public would be surprised and shocked by what we pay our staff. I think we pay our staff about right at the moment.”

Town clerk Dave Farrow said staff would be taking on extra work as the town authority took on services from the unitary council.

“The roles and responsibilities are going to change dramatically with the level of budget we are handling and the complexity of work,” he said. “I suggest that we carry out a staff review.”

Committee chairman, Cllr Catherine Govier, responding to Cllr Thorne’s comments, said: “A review is a review that we can review.”

Cllr Mike McGuffie said: “We are a town council, but we are becoming some sort of hybrid urban district council.”

Cllr Kieran Canham said: “When the situation changes and job roles change we have to make sure the remuneration is proper for the staff.

“The previous review is now not worth the paper it’s written on as the situation has changed.

“We now have to make sure we are paying our staff the appropriate amount of money.”

Councillors agreed to commission a salary review.