COPELAND mayor Mike Starkie is to get a £20,000 pay rise. 

His salary will increase from £30,000 to £50,000 after councillors agreed the move at a meeting of the full council. 

A vote on increasing the deputy mayor Lena Hogg’s £15,000 allowance, taking her total to £22,000 was also passed, alongside an agreement on number of travel, food and broadband allowances. 

In addition councillors’ allowances will go up by one percent. 

Councillors also agreed this year’s draft budget which looks set to receive its final approval on March 8. 

Mr Starkie laid out his ambitions for the next four years which see town centre regeneration; commercialisation; employment, skills and social wellbeing as well as “strengthening’’ the way Copeland works. 

He said: “We have ambitions to regenerate our town centres and to commercialise our council so that we can generate more income to improve our services to our customers. 

“I want to make it clear that Copeland is open for business and we welcome inward investment and any contribution which will strengthen our economy for present and future generations.’’ 

Included in Copeland’s plans for new projects are a town centre regeneration seed fund which will see £1m invested over four years in the area’s main towns to make Copeland a “better place to live, work and visit’’.

The Council is also working closely with partners, including Britain’s Energy Coast Property Board, to obtain land assets to “deliver physical regeneration’’ in the area as well as “strengthening’’ the way the Copeland works. 

The proposed £15,000 allowance for the deputy mayor was thrown out last year, as was the suggested mayor's salary of £50,000. 

They were rejected by the borough's then Labour majority who claimed the new mayor "doesn't deserve'' to earn almost twice as much as the former leader, Elaine Woodburn. 

Councillors also last year turned down the proposal to increase their allowances by one percent.