Ledbury councillor says two Conservative colleagues may have made “one hell of a mistake” by asking members to take an allowance cut.

County councillors Andrew Atkinson and Paul Rone were the only members in a 45-strong council meeting to vote in favour of their own suggestion that elected members take a voluntary 10 per cent attendance allowance reduction.

The notice of motion also called for councillors to consider not claiming all expenses available to them.

But the pair received no support, either from their own ruling Conservative group or any other parties, during the last meeting of full council.

“It has opened Pandora’s Box and it might be hard to close again,” said fellow Tory, Coun Peter Watts, one of Ledbury’s three county councillors.

“I think the result resolves itself.

“It certainly wound up a lot of Conservative councillors.”

In bringing the notice of motion, councillors Atkinson and Rone said money saved in members’ allowances, should everyone agree, would give a potential saving of more than £40,000, equivalent to two full-time posts.

But Coun Watts said the members should have approached the issue differently.

“The debate is at the wrong time and they went the wrong way about it,” he added.

“They should have gone through the Conservative group first. They have meetings each month.

“It sounds as though it was one hell of a mistake.”

Coun Watts’ fellow Ledbury Conservative, Coun Phill Bettington, said it was up to the two members whether they submitted the notice of motion or not.

He confirmed that some members’ questioned why they didn’t go to Conservative chiefs beforehand.

Both members left the meeting to attend appointments before the vote was taken.

Councillors Atkinson and Rone were the only ones who voted in favour of the idea - first revealed by the Hereford Times - with 33 voting against and 10 abstentions.