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Reader letter: Should councillors get a proper wage?

PUBLISHED: 14:58 15 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:58 15 December 2017

The chamber at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Dan Grimmer

The chamber at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Dan Grimmer

Archant

I read with some interest the article on the pay of councillors.

There is definitely an argument to be put for councillors receiving proper pay for the hours they work.

I am aware of councillors who work incredibly hard for their constituents, who undertake significant casework and who have fought to protect services in their wards. Emma Corlett, Terry Jermy, Mike Brindle and Steve Morphew spring to mind.

For some it is a vocation and something they would probably be happy to do as a full-time job if the money were enough to live on.

On the other hand, there are those for whom being a councillor is simply a means of raising their status and topping up their income.

If all a councillor does is attend meetings, wave a rubber stamp and ignore their constituents then I don’t think they should be in post at all, let alone get council taxpayers’ money for it.

Personally, I think we should be attracting new, informed, committed and intelligent people to these posts who will take the responsibility seriously and be paid properly for it.

Councillors should not be allied to a political party and should not be permitted to have a second job. It creates automatic conflict of interest and results in people just towing their party line regardless.

However, that kind of overhaul is a long way off. In the meantime, our next county council elections will be in 2019.

I would suggest people look at the attendance, voting record and expenses claims of their current councillor before deciding who to vote for. After all, it is our ever-increasing council tax that funds them.

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