The ruling Liberal Democrats on Sutton Council used their massive majority to push through councillors’ pay rises.

Calls for the vote to be recorded, so that each member of the council’s stance would be noted, were thrown out after the opposition group failed to convince a single Lib Dem, save for the suspended Councillor Nick Mattey, to support its call at a full council meeting.

They needed just one more vote.

Every member of the Lib Dem party, with the exception of Coun Mattey, voted in favour of awarding themselves the rise, while every member of the Conservative Party voted against.

Newly independent Councillor Graham Whitham backed the Lib Dems.

From March 21: Average council tax bill up by £29 per year: Average Sutton councillor salary set to rise

Defending the rise, leader of the council Councillor Ruth Dombey said the 2.2 per cent increase was tied to staff wages as part of the constitution.

Doing so “depoliticised” councillor salaries, she said.

Opposition leader Councillor Tim Crowley said allowances should be frozen at a time when the authority had hit residents with the highest allowable increase in council tax without having to go to referendum, increased parking charges and press releases informing residents of the need to make about £40m in savings in the next four years.

Speaking after the meeting, Coun Crowley said he would not accept his pay rise, although he would leave it up to his own group members to decide what they would do with theirs.

Each councillor’s basic salary will increase from £10,293 to £10,519.

Any special responsibilities will be added on top of that.

Coun Dombey will get a bumper rise in her leader's pay, from £40,071 to £40,953, taking her total to £51,472.

If all the allowance increases are taken, it will amount to a £19,800 increase in the budget.