22 February 2018
Oswestry Town Councillor Duncan Kerr has written the following open letter after a meeting of Shropshire Council today, 22 February 2018. He writes:
"When I was on Shropshire Unitary Council I drew attention to the fact that the Council was supplementing and already generous “basic” allowance scheme for Councillors with the payments of a plethora of “special” allowances almost all of which went to member of the Conservative group.
"At the time, the then Leader told me "We don't set our allowances – an independent party sets that out and we go with that," (https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/politics/2017/02/24/shropshire-councillors-freeze-annual-allowances/)
"So, I wrote to the Independent panel and, surprise, surprise having carefully investigated the matter they agreed with me. Their report, considered by the Council today, notes that the basic allowance is already above average and recommends a significant cull in the payment of special responsibilities reducing them by either 25% or 50% and in some cases deleting them entirely.
"So far so good you might think. But the Conservative group have now changed their own rules and voted to ignore their own panels advice and maintain these inflated allowances. I’d like to tell you how much extra in Council tax we will now have to pay for this arrogance but, although the Council is desperate for cash, the report conveniently forgets to calculate the savings that would have resulted from accepting the panel’s recommendations.
"At a time when cuts to youth services have already been made, redundancies anticipated and cuts to children’s centres proposed it is a scandal that Conservative Councillors will continue to be entitled to receive more money in special allowances than their own independent penal recommended. The Government has already expressed their concern about inflated allowances in Local Government and I will be writing to the Minister for Local Government asking for this scandalous waste of public money to be promptly investigated."
Cllr Duncan Kerr (Green Party)
Oswestry Town Councillor.
The meeting agenda is available online.
Did you know that the Green Party is helping to promote a default 20mph speed limit in urban areas in order to reduce the number of people injured on our roads? Read more about 20's Plenty here.
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