Claims by the former mayor of Skipton that town council staff had ‘put in’ for a 12 per cent pay rise have been denied by the council leader.

Former mayor John Kerwin-Davey resigned two weeks ago following his failed attempt to remove officers from a meeting to discuss staffing, including what he described as an ‘unprecedented’ pay rise.

Coun Kerwin-Davey, who remains a member of Craven District Council, said he felt unable to remain a town councillor after his authority as chairman had gone unsupported.

But following a meeting last week, held in closed session to discuss the ongoing staffing review, council leader Coun Chris Harbron said it was not the case that officers had requested such a rise.

The council is now to undertake an independent, external review of staffing, looking at changes in responsibilities, including the taking on of the management of Skipton Market.

“There has been some suggestion that the town council staff had put in for a 12 per cent pay rise,” said Coun Harbron.

“This is not the case. The changes in the level of services provided by the council, some of which have been taken over from other authorities, means that we need to look at the duties and responsibilities our staff has taken on – and put in place a structure which fits the needs of the council.”

The council is also reviewing members of staff on temporary contracts.

“The council’s chief officer – Dave Parker – has now been able to present his report setting out amendments to the council’s staffing structure,” said Coun Harbron.

“Members have resolved to support the proposals in principle, and the council will now be undertaking an independent, external evaluation of the detail in the report. It is important that we undertake this external evaluation, as the next stage of the process, to ensure that any changes are appropriate – particularly as we are dealing with public money.”

Once the external evaluation has taken place, the final proposals will have to be approved by the council before any new structure is carried out.