Rebellious Croydon Council staff have tried to snare themselves a 5 per cent pay-rise by hijacking the council’s new online budget-setting programme, it is understood.

Within days of the new You Choose site going live, dozens of users had called for an increase to council staff pay, while cutting cash for leisure services, support for older people and education.

The council set up the site to gauge taxpayers’ views on which services should be cut to save money in the wake of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

Of the 450 users who entered their location into the programme none so far have been from New Addington, compared to four users logging in from Doncaster to give their views.

The council hopes the site will help taxpayers understand the huge financial headache it has funding services while attempting to save the £30m it plans to shed from the budget by April 2011.

Consequences such as cut-down services are shown in red, and bonuses for boosting spending in other areas are picked out in green, while the dreaded spectre of the council tax increase needed to balance the books constantly looms at the top of the page.

Anyone interested in joining the 800 people who have already used the site can visit

A council spokesman said: “It is unsurprising that staff are among the interested parties wanting to address the serious issues presented by the budget simulator.

“Nor is it a surprise that people would like to be paid more to help cope in difficult financial times.

“However, the council’s primary responsibility is to deliver to local residents and taxpayers the essential services that they pay for through their council tax.

“It is extremely unlikely that the council will be swayed by any argument in favour of paying staff more money at the present time.

“The budget simulator is a valuable consultation exercise with the public at large to show the difficulty behind making choices when spending more in one area inevitably leaves less elsewhere.”