NEWS that councillors’ pensions may be axed will come as a surprise to many.
Not perhaps because the Government is looking into whether they should be stopped, but the fact that they exist at all.
Most electors surely see their councillors as hard-working volunteers who are paid allowances and expenses for representing our interests on the council.
Many may well be unaware that of the 69 councillors in Kirklees, 39 of them have joined the Local Government Pension Scheme.
While they can contribute 6% to the scheme, there is also an employer’s contribution. That, of course, is paid by the taxpayer.
It is good then to know that the Government is proposing to hold a public consultation into a situation which electors are likely to have strong views on.
Where is the line drawn, for example, between the “employment package” of a councillor and a council officer?
And what implications, if any, does it have for local democracy.
Do we want salaried councillors and, if so, how do we pay for that and is their allegiance then to their council employer rather than to the electors who voted for them?
Questions that must be debated, preferably in public.