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Letter: Councillors Should Not Expect A Living Wage

Published on: 20 Apr, 2015
Updated on: 20 Apr, 2015

councillorFrom Bernard Parke, Hon Alderman

In response to Zoe Franklin’s opinion piece: “Opinion: Why I Can’t Continue To Be A Councillor

Nearly half of the total number of 48 borough councillors are not seeking re-election on May 7th.

It is true that many of that number have served the borough for many years, but could there be an element,  in some cases, of frustration when policies are dictated by just nine of that number?

There appears to be no shortage of new candidates coming forward  but do they really appreciate the true nature of this service to the people of the borough?

It is not or should not be an occupation to receive a living wage, indeed for many years their forebears received basic expenses which were only paid if they actually attended each allocated committee meeting.

The election as a councillor is reminiscent of that of the many hundreds of charity workers or indeed that as serving as a magistrate.

The words of President Kennedy come to mind: “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.”

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Responses to Letter: Councillors Should Not Expect A Living Wage

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    April 20, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Interesting when the council leader seems so reticent when asked to clarify the only employment he declares on the council register of interests. See: “Council leader responds to questions on his business arrangements.”

  2. Sue Doughty Reply

    April 20, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    While I don’t believe that councillors should be salaried, we do want people from all walks of life to represent us. As someone who has over many years being heavily involved in working to recruit people like Zoe from our community to be councillors, it is sad that for too many it is just not practical.

    Our councillors should not be drawn from, predominantly, the retired, the self employed and those lucky enough to have a well paid partner.

    Being a councillor, as Zoe describes, is a demanding role if it is to be done as well as Zoe certainly did. It can impact promotion chances at work and also on time you spend on your family.

    We need people on the council who can speak for hard pressed local people who work long days and struggle to afford housing.

    There is not a full slate of candidates standing for the council and it is this pressure which prevents political parties from recruiting more.

    It’s the cross section of the people who represent us on councils that give us real democracy representative of the community as a whole.

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