Time to close Croydon Council’s Private Members’ Club

Reduce the number of councillors in Croydon Town Hall and save at least £1m over four years, Inside Croydon suggested this week. DAVID ASTON, candidate in Ashburton for UKIP, here says it is wrong for part-time  councillors to be paid more than qualified nurses and fire fighters

UKIP rosetteThe starting pay of a nurse working for the NHS is £21,388 per year. You can earn that and a lot more for sitting on Croydon Council. Without any qualification, without saving someone’s life, and without having to make the sort of decisions that you were elected to do in the first place.

You see, for an average Croydon Councillor, you just attend a few fringe committees, sit gormlessly in the full council meetings and vote the way you’re told and then, after claiming some expenses, you can earn the sort of money a nurse does without lifting a finger. Well, UKIP has had enough of it.

UKIP, in Croydon and throughout Britain, are appalled about is the level of councillor allowances being paid. It is ridiculous that the 50 backbench councillors in Croydon are paid the most in the whole of Greater London.

Croydon Council’s inner cabinet is basically a Private Members’ Club whose participants get paid larger-than-life sums money for making decisions behind closed doors that Croydon’s Council Tax-payers are forced to subscribe to big time. Those decisions are then put to full council meetings with the results already a forgone conclusion. While all the other councillors sit in the Town Hall like cabbages, cabinet members laugh all the way to the bank. To collect our hard-earned cash!

UKIP will fight the forthcoming local elections determined to abolish this undemocratic and unhealthy method of running Croydon. We would abolish the cabinet system. We believe that people throughout the borough have various issues that need to be raised and acted upon. That is what a local councillor is elected for, and the committee system, which existed before cabinets were introduced, saw that such issues were raised and dealt with fairly.

In the past there were, among others, separate committees for housing, highways, education and finance. All members of those committees were allocated by their political parties pro rata to their percentage of councillors elected by the people of Croydon. Resolutions passed by these committees were then brought forward to the full council for approval or rejection. This was local democracy in action and UKIP wants to restore it.

UKIP will also demand an internal investigation of salaries and expenses by the outgoing council members. We feel it a waste of public money to employ an independent source to tell us what is already known or what needs to be changed. This, after all, boils down to common sense.

How much is a part-time councillor worth? More than a fire fighter? More than a nurse?

Maybe the new minimum wage should be brought into the equation. Then we would discover who is genuinely interested in serving their community and who’s just in it for political gain and financial reward.

Coming to Croydon

Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 72,342 average monthly page views (Jan-Mar 2014)

If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in 2014 council elections, Addiscombe West, Ashburton, Council Tax, Croydon Council, Peter Staveley and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Time to close Croydon Council’s Private Members’ Club

  1. Mr Aston has an important point about the money being wasted on councillors’ allowances; and on the fact that most of them spend most of their time hanging around like a bad smell.

    Unfortunately, like the rest of his UKIP chums, Mr Aston wants to march us all back to the 20th century, or earlier, with his little Englander approach to Europe; and he and his colleagues don’t believe in whipping, so there’s no guarantee that any other UKIP councillor would vote for Mr Aston’s proposals.

    Like herding cats!

  2. Perhaps Mr Aston should ask his anti-Europe European Parliament members why they get £200,000-plus in allowances? If they don’t like being in Europe, why should they get elected as MEPs and why should they even go to the European Parliament? Its all about money.

    Can I challenge Mr Aston to promise that he will give his council allowance to a charity if he gets elected?

    The Labour Party made a bad decision to pay councillors, as most of the Labour councillors didn’t have a full-time job at that time.

    Sadly the Conservatives carried on getting paid rather than stopping this waste of tax-payers’ money.

    The Conservatives who complained about the 27% increase in Council Tax should have stopped the councillors’ allowances being paid and reduced the Council Tax to the pre-Labour level to £660 for a Band D household.

    Now Council Tax is about £1,400 plus for Band D.

    Councillors are here to serve Croydon, and not to earn a part-time income or boost their pension pot.

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