Leader: Cash for councillors
IT does seem right and proper that Kirklees councillors will have an allowance freeze for the next 12 months.
Some would possibly argue that the allowances should be reduced in the light of the big cuts to come with hundreds of council employees due to be made redundant to save between £250m and £400m over the next five years.
Yet it could also be argued that a cut would be too drastic.
After all, don’t forget that councillors are volunteers and those who throw themselves into the role spend countless unpaid hours every year working hard for the community they serve.
It is no 9am to 5pm task. For the committed councillors the day never really ends and many can be contacted at what many would consider to be unsocial hours.
Their contact details are on the Kirklees website, including their mobile phone numbers.
They are clearly accountable to the electorate and if the voters don’t think they are working hard enough or are failing to support the community, the ballot box is the way to make their feelings known.
Some councillors also run their own businesses – and council duties no doubt have an impact on the time they can spend working to earn their ‘daily bread’.
No-one can sensibly argue that councillors are in it for the allowances they receive.
They do have a responsibility and an expectation from the people they serve on their shoulders and it is only right they get some financial help them do the role to the best of their ability.