Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Money following mouths.

Its a pleasing change to blog about public representatives who are making a public demonstration of their recognition of the contempt in which elected politicians are currently held. The 9 Conservative Councillors on Powys County Council have decided not to accept any increase in their pay for next year. Some will arrange not to receive the money, and others will donate the money to local charities - an example of politicians putting their money alongside their mouths.

In general, I'm not in favour of this sort of action unless there is a special reason. Well this year there is a special reason. Consequent upon the destruction of the UK's public finances, there will inevitably follow a significant reduction in the block grant that passes from the Treasury to the National Assembly for Wales. In turn, there will inevitably be a significant reduction in the support grant that is given to local authorities. I accept that its possible to recoup some of this reduction from the Council Tax payer. But this would be immoral at a time when the capacity of residents of Powys to stump up is falling like a stone.

The reality is that there's going to be cuts in public services, a situation that's likely to continue for a few years. Employees will be losing their jobs and vulnerable people will have reduced access to services. Councillors must demonstrate that they understand the pain that vulnerable people are going through. There is no better way of creating an understanding between the governed and the governing than sharing the pain. Tonight, I'm proud of the 9 Conservative councillors who serve on Powys County Council.


Anonymous said...

Glyn, I have just read this, please check it out, you will be interested in it -

Anonymous said...

All power to the Tory Group, what a good example.

Anonymous said...

Do councillors get 'paid' ?

Powysworker said...

Councillors don't get paid as such, they receive an allowance. They can claim expenses such ive as travel, childcare, food. I may be wrong but I don't think any one of the 9 conservative councillors claims for anything other than travel and childcare.

Sarah said...


Thank you for your 'I'm proud' comment but honestly it's not necessary, we are simply doing what we should all be doing. It's not about being proud and catching headlines it's about doing the right thing, we are no different to anyone else and as such there will not be many people I suspect who are receiving a 2.45% pay rise if any pay rise at all. Bottom line is things are tough we know that, we accept that and we are prepared to spend our time making sure the services we provide are delivered correctly, where needed and as quickly and efficently as possible, we are not prepared to make them worse by taking a pay rise awarded by ourselves or anyone else for that matter at a time when the purse strings are tighter than they have ever been.

Intersting comment from Powysworker, they are right though. I don't think many if any of the group at all claim expenses other than travel for those who have to travel the furthest distance and travel regularly and childcare for those who have to pay someone else to take care of the children, pick them up from school etc when in meetings, attending functions, events, etc.