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Author Topic: Conservative Election Address  (Read 5758 times)
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Duke Fame
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« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2012, 10:08:13 PM »

A fair point Si, my thoughts on the Conservative address were that they seem to be the only party prepared to address the cost problems of local authorities which should be the number one issue.

The point that I would make is that the Conservatives for many years have never had to make a budget in Stockport. It is the Libdems in Stockport that have had to find ways of making the town work for the last 20 years and find the recent savings the coalition cuts have imposed upon the services used by the people of Stockport. All the Conservatives in Stockport seem to have done (according to my reading and understanding) is oppose and obstruct the Libdem proposals without actually putting forward a realistic, workable, budget plan themselves. They continually say that they will cut "waste" but they never actually say how. When you press the question all they seem to come up with are jibes about the "back office", "council publicity" and of course the old chestnut,cutting Councillor's allowances which to me is just petty electioneering.

What significant effect can taking £900.00 off each Councillor have on the massive deficit that we have had imposed upon us, save to make our Councillors feel even more undervalued than they probably do already ?


I don't think the cut in budget is really that great a difficulty, it's only cutting back to 2007 level which wasn't exactly a time where bins were un-emptied nor roads unprepared.

Cutting costs to the core should be the aim to deliver value for the tax-payer and id like to see sn open appraisal of the councils spending and a strategy to improve efficiency in every area.
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acoustician
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« Reply #61 on: May 04, 2012, 09:29:43 AM »

cutting Councillor's allowances which to me is just petty electioneering.

I quite agree, on the Tory bit of propaganda that came thru our door we had Mr Rydings saying he'll cut councillors allowances, while he lives at home with Mummy and Daddy!
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Duke Fame
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« Reply #62 on: May 04, 2012, 01:00:18 PM »

cutting Councillor's allowances which to me is just petty electioneering.

I quite agree, on the Tory bit of propaganda that came thru our door we had Mr Rydings saying he'll cut councillors allowances, while he lives at home with Mummy and Daddy!


Whilst that's true Andy, nobody should hold that fact against him.

I think reducing the allowances for councillors does have a danger of making the office of councillor only available for those who can afford to incur expenses without being reimbursed. That said, I don't really want a career councillor, the point of them is they have an understanding of the normal council taxpayer. I think the answer is less councillors and pay them a fair remuneration for their time. What worries me is how so many claim right up to their allowance, that seems fishy. 
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Steptoe and Son
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« Reply #63 on: May 04, 2012, 01:59:16 PM »

It's irrelevant now anyway as the nasty party were trounced.
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Duke Fame
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« Reply #64 on: May 04, 2012, 03:38:23 PM »

It's irrelevant now anyway as the nasty party were trounced.

They were but they won in Offerton, does that mean the nasty party are going to be in charge in Stockport?
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Duke Fame
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« Reply #65 on: May 04, 2012, 04:30:45 PM »

It's irrelevant now anyway as the nasty party were trounced.

They were but they won in Offerton, does that mean the nasty party are going to be in charge in Stockport?

I think the Lib / Cons can keep hold of the council, PHEW
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simonesaffron
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« Reply #66 on: May 04, 2012, 09:01:46 PM »

cutting Councillor's allowances which to me is just petty electioneering.

I quite agree, on the Tory bit of propaganda that came thru our door we had Mr Rydings saying he'll cut councillors allowances, while he lives at home with Mummy and Daddy!


Whilst that's true Andy, nobody should hold that fact against him.

I think reducing the allowances for councillors does have a danger of making the office of councillor only available for those who can afford to incur expenses without being reimbursed. That said, I don't really want a career councillor, the point of them is they have an understanding of the normal council taxpayer. I think the answer is less councillors and pay them a fair remuneration for their time. What worries me is how so many claim right up to their allowance, that seems fishy. 


I think that they could hold it against him and they did. Doesn't really matter as a person how old you are or what your domestic circumstances are. But young Rydings was standing as a Councillor and that invites comparison. Why would a seventy year old, widowed, grandmother who has worked since she was 15 and brought a family up feel comfortable being represented by a young boy who still lives at home. The fault lies not with Carl Rydings but with the Conservative "leaders" endorsing him as a candidate in Marple of all places.

As far as Councillors allowances are concernd, I don't think that you need to worry about the emergence of too many "career councillors" - not on £9K per year.

       
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marpleexile
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« Reply #67 on: May 05, 2012, 06:37:13 AM »

cutting Councillor's allowances which to me is just petty electioneering.

I quite agree, on the Tory bit of propaganda that came thru our door we had Mr Rydings saying he'll cut councillors allowances, while he lives at home with Mummy and Daddy!


Whilst that's true Andy, nobody should hold that fact against him.

I think reducing the allowances for councillors does have a danger of making the office of councillor only available for those who can afford to incur expenses without being reimbursed. That said, I don't really want a career councillor, the point of them is they have an understanding of the normal council taxpayer. I think the answer is less councillors and pay them a fair remuneration for their time. What worries me is how so many claim right up to their allowance, that seems fishy

The way Politicians in this country are financed is an absolute joke. Because it is all done via expenses and allowances and what have you, even the most straight laced, up-tight. by the book person is made to look dodgy when it is revealed that they (legitimately) claimed X tens of thousands of pounds in allowances and expenses.

The Parliamentary expenses scandal is a case in point. Whilst a big ho-ha was made over it in the media, when it came down to it, they had all been acting within the rules except for 4, who were duly charged with Fraud. Sure, many of them paid back the more ridiculous sounding claims, but even the Duck House guy, and the Moating Cleaning guy had been acting within the rules that were laid down for them. And to be honest, I can't really fault them for taking advantage.

It'll never happen, because it's Turkey's voting for Christmas, but allowances and expenses should be scrapped for all politicians in almost all cases, and instead these items should just be paid for directly by the government body they represent. So, for example, MPs travel expenses, Parliament buys every MP/Peer a Rail season ticket, cheaper for the tax payer all round (given that as they're buying over 1000 they should be able to get a bulk buy deal). MPs staffing, central government hires 650 constituency secretaries, and centrally rents 650 constituency offices. It's ridiculous that MPs have to hire/rent, and then claims expenses for their work space and their staff (these are the two biggest items that cause MPs expenses each year to look so stupidly large). And so on and so forth.

Politicians should be paid a flat wage, expected to turn up to all meetings/votes/duties (like the rest of us in any other job), and only be abe to/have to, claim legitimate out of pocket expenses, and not have to claim for things that really should be provided for them by their employer, ie Local/Central Government.
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Duke Fame
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« Reply #68 on: May 05, 2012, 08:49:44 AM »

I think you are quite right Marple exile. The obvious thing would be to build an mp's halls of residence to avoid the need for 2nd houses, employing friends as cleaners on an executive wage etc etc

For local councillors, £9k is not a lot of course but Shan does Ok, the boy Goddard did alright and over in Manchester Leese &Bernstein would never gets salary like that in the real world.
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simonesaffron
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« Reply #69 on: May 05, 2012, 09:39:20 AM »

MP's are a different thing altogether but local politician's "allowances" are a simple enough issue that have been explained on this website many times by many different writers yet they continually seem to be misunderstood.

Ordinary Local Councillors across the length and breadth of the country are paid a fixed allowance a "flat wage" as you call it. They do not have to claim it, it is paid to them every month, the same amount to every Councillor for an individual local authority, the only aspect is that it  varies is from local authority to local authority but that's a consequence of local conditions and negotiations. So, all of Stockport's elected members receive the same basic allowance (flat wage as you call it every month), They do not have to claim it, it is paid automatically that's why Duke it is always the same amount, there is nothing .."fishy" about it. In Stockport's case, the exact amount eludes me, but it is about £9,800 p.a. taxed at source. The discretion that they have is what they spend it on. They are expected to turn up for the meetings that they have signed up to anyway and do what they are supposed to do irrespective of what they have done with this allowance.

It is all a matter of public record and a very simple and uncomplicated issue. You will search very hard to find a local Councillor who has had his moat cleaned or his duck house mended or an 84 inch, flat screen tv provided because the system just does not allow for much more than a pint of beer and a bag of fish and chips to be claimed for extra over.

As I say MP'S allowances are a different issue altogether.       
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Duke Fame
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« Reply #70 on: May 05, 2012, 12:45:26 PM »

Fair point Si, I still conclude it is cheaper to have fewer councillors, we don't really need 6 for Marple. 10k for a part time little job doesn't seem too bad to me, I'm more tempted by the day to stand myself.
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marpleexile
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« Reply #71 on: May 05, 2012, 12:51:32 PM »

MP's are a different thing altogether but local politician's "allowances" are a simple enough issue that have been explained on this website many times by many different writers yet they continually seem to be misunderstood.

The discretion that they have is what they spend it on.

There in lies the problem, and the reason why actually it isn't simple. Either it's a wage, in which case call it a wage, and what they spend it on is nobody else's business. Or, it's something else, in which case it needs explaining exactly what it is, what it's for, and why it's paid as an allowance to the councillor, and not direct to the person/company ultimately receiving it.
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simonesaffron
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« Reply #72 on: May 05, 2012, 01:41:44 PM »

Fair point Si, I still conclude it is cheaper to have fewer councillors, we don't really need 6 for Marple. 10k for a part time little job doesn't seem too bad to me, I'm more tempted by the day to stand myself.

The number of Councillors is determined by head of population in the ward. There is also an equation and I dont knowthe components that make it up but currently it says that 6 Councillors is the optimum needed for Marple. I
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simonesaffron
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« Reply #73 on: May 05, 2012, 02:02:23 PM »

MP's are a different thing altogether but local politician's "allowances" are a simple enough issue that have been explained on this website many times by many different writers yet they continually seem to be misunderstood.

The discretion that they have is what they spend it on.

There in lies the problem, and the reason why actually it isn't simple. Either it's a wage, in which case call it a wage, and what they spend it on is nobody else's business. Or, it's something else, in which case it needs explaining exactly what it is, what it's for, and why it's paid as an allowance to the councillor, and not direct to the person/company ultimately receiving it.


It really is simple and not actually that important. If it makes you understand it easier then why not think of it as a "wage" as you suggest - you wouldn't be wrong.
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Duke Fame
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« Reply #74 on: May 05, 2012, 04:12:47 PM »

Fair point Si, I still conclude it is cheaper to have fewer councillors, we don't really need 6 for Marple. 10k for a part time little job doesn't seem too bad to me, I'm more tempted by the day to stand myself.

The number of Councillors is determined by head of population in the ward. There is also an equation and I dont knowthe components that make it up but currently it says that 6 Councillors is the optimum needed for Marple. I


I'd suggest the equation needs changing.
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