A voluntary, part-time position

THE greedy piggies of politics obviously aren't confined to Westminster. We've got a few on the loose at the Town Hall too. Proposals for whopping increases in councillors' allowances

THE greedy piggies of politics obviously aren't confined to Westminster. We've got a few on the loose at the Town Hall too.Proposals for whopping increases in councillors' allowances, 55 per cent extra for some, with the leader getting a pay packet of £32,000, are astonishing.Councillors are also to be offered the chance to join the Local Government Pension Scheme. By my calculations, the proposals for a 17.7 per cent contribution from taxpayers will put as much as £25,000 into Tory council leader Nigel Ashton's pension fund. Nice work if you can get it.I am not against councillors being fairly compensated for their work, loss of earnings and so on. As a former councillor who benefited from sizeable allowances, I would be a hypocrite if I did.But rises running into thousands of pounds at a time when services are being cut are unacceptable. Pay packets of £32,000 a year for what is essentially a voluntary, part-time position, are way off the scale.What is more, at least half the councillors don't do anything very useful anyway. Why should taxpayers be paying through the nose for second-rate politicians who consistently fail to deliver?So how about this, Councillor Ashton? You can have your pay rise - but only if you sack half the councillors to pay for it.MIKE BELL - Liberal Democrat Prospective MP for Weston-super-Mare,George Street, Weston


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