Thursday, 20 March 2008

Easy Money if you can get it.... be a Councillor

The County Council and Municipal Council Elections are fast approaching and will be held in May of this year. Not all councillors, however, take their responsibilities seriously. It has been known for county councillors to attend meetings no more than twice a year and this is acceptable under present regulations. They do not even have to read reports or speak or vote at council meetings. Some have been known to nod off and fall asleep during sessions. Many of them are well into their Eighties as there is no upper age limit. They are mostly elderly gentlemen and there are few ladies. They receive an annual allowance of £7000+ and can claim travelling expenses and other expenses depending on the special duties which they may take on. Some of them seek prominence by having their photograph displayed in the local newspaper at every conceivable occasion, trusting that this will ensure re-election.
One could say their job is a kind of sinecure. Few younger people are atttracted to this calling, mainly because they are doing a real job of work and are gainfully employed elsewhere. Should any reader be interested in this noble occupation perhaps they would add a comment and get in touch, but they must, of course, be of the right political persuasion.


Anonymous said...

Do you have a better suggestion?

alanindyfed said...

1) make voting compulsory
2) make attendance a requirement

Anonymous said...

Good points Alan, but please remember that us community councillors just get our telephone rentals and a few travelling expenses, more like £150 than £7000!
you are right that some county and borough members do not appear to give value for money. Of course its not just the council meetings, work for constituents, sitting on committees and local campaigns etc are all part of the job.
some of these councillors manage full-time jobs too, which must again raise concerns. Officially a county councillor is committed to 2 and a half to 3 days a week for civic duties.