The press has been all over the hikes in Councillors Allowances and Council Leader Cllr Steve Morphew has a piece in the paper today defending the decision (at least, I think it was a defence...)
I have raised this issue before. Councillors get paid a pittance for the amount of work we actually do. If we continue to pay so little then I am not surprised that people are unwilling to shelve the rest of the their lives and take time off work to do it. I know that the vast majority of councillors do it for their communities, but we need to make sure that nobody is out of pocket by being a Councillor.
However ... allowances are one of those difficult issues to square with the public. How can the council even think about paying ourselves more when cuts are being made across the board and budgets are being squeezed? How can we accept more cash and then tell taxpayers there is no money for them?
Allowances are difficult to juggle and I would be interested in views on what to do about them. How about this - they are set and paid for by an Independent Body, using central government funding, and outside of the control of the council whilst not impacting on local services?