THE chief executive of City of York Council has turned down a pay rise because of the “austere financial climate” facing the authority.

Kersten England confirmed she would not be accepting a performance-related incremental pay increase in a letter to council leader James Alexander.

She is entitled to an annual rise provided her performance is deemed satisfactory, but has not taken it in recent years. The council’s budget for 2014/15 and 2015/16, agreed last month, outlined a need to make £23.3 million of cuts and savings