Private documents reveal ex-councillors push for pay increase while admitting they can't offer practical advice

SACKED councillors who sit on a regional advisory panel admit their practical advice is of little value.

But they still want to be paid more and are prepared to weather a media backlash over the issue.

It comes just days after Armidale Regional Council administrator Ian Tiley warned committee members against electioneering while on the council dollar.

The Express can reveal this and other acrimonious discussions between the ex-councillors and Council's administrator after obtaining documents under a successful Freedom of Information request.

The documents reveal councillors venting their frustration with Dr Tiley at a critical meeting in October.

They claim he kept them in the dark about Council matters and failed to properly consult with them.

“In many instances, the administrator has not adhered to the [state government] guidelines [on governance] and has taken a minimalist approach ... regarding the role and functions of the committee,” ex-councillors allege in the documents.

The group said agendas lacked substance and “therefore the committee can't offer practical advice”.

Nevertheless, they pushed on with demands for a pay rise, travel allowance, as well as back pay.

The matter of pay was raised at two other private committee meetings on October 20, when members all agreed they were “prepared to withstand any negative media that the increase may cause”.

Dr Tiley acceded to their request after local government minister Paul Toole order him to give the pay hike.

The ex-councillors are now paid $1570 a month, up from $712,  costing ratepayers an extra $80,000 a year.

For this, they meet once every three weeks for about one hour.

The Premier’s Department has confirmed the committee’s future is under review.

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