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
The 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.
- Council allowances and local politicians’ secret consensus
- What Barwell fails to tell you and the myths of Council Tax
- Budget-busting 25 quid bribe that ignores Croydon’s £1bn debt
Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema: The Great Beauty, Apr 10
- Norwood Society Talk: Crystal Palace, Apr 17
- David Lean Cinema: Inside Llewyn Davis, Apr 17
- Opening of Marlpit Lane bowling and putting greens, Apr 17
- Arts and Crafts Market, Exchange Square, Apr 19
- David Lean Cinema: Short Term, Apr 24
- Norwood Society Talk: West Norwood – a place of change, May 15
- Croydon RFC charity memorial day, May 17
- Norwood Society Talk: The Concrete Church, June 19
- Crystal Palace Overground Festival, June 26-29
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 72,342 average monthly page views (Jan-Mar 2014)
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