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Author Topic: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North  (Read 6206 times)

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Kevin Dowling

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #53 on: April 17, 2018, 03:35:49 PM »
Carolyn, Andrew Boden and others,

I did not wish to initiate a debate about members allowances. They differ from council to council anyway. For example, in neighbouring Manchester, the basic, annual allowance for 2016/17 was £16,470.00. In fact the top allowance paid to one member was £57,608.00. In addition to this most council scheduled meetings in Manchester are during the day whereas in Stockport they are in the evening. The debate rages over allowances, and opinions range from one extremity to the other, mostly the views of councillors, the electorate doesn't seem to care that much. I can honestly say that I have never come across a councillor (any party colour) who was doing it for the money.

If I can just drag us back to the matter in hand, which is the forthcoming local election in Marple North. Money is irrelevant to this and my point is about time not money.

It is not the scheduled meetings that are the problem. By definition they are 'scheduled' and can be planned for. It is the multiplicity of business that arises from them and outside of them, which often an ordinary, elected member is unaware of in advance and relatively short notice dictates, that if one is to be effective, one's time needs  to be one's own. 

Anyway, I have said enough on this matter now and I hope that my view is clear and on the record.   

Independent Candidate for Marple North

Kevin Dowling

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #52 on: April 17, 2018, 02:29:53 PM »
Thanks Kevin - I do try to keep people updated when I can say something useful.

You were a Lib Dem exec member at the time this was started and you remember correctly.  £100m  capital was borrowed on the Highways Improvement Programme to repair each ward's roads and footpaths in turn.  The idea being that maintenance and insurance claims would consequentially reduce.  Marple North was done a few years ago, with a variety of treatments.  (This good idea was first done by Tory-run Blackpool.) 

The Labour admin have continued with this scheme.  I have looked at the remaining wards and I have not yet seen Marple South mentioned as being done this year, and Windlehurst/Hibbert in particular are bad for potholes. 
(And the Labour council leader has another job, but is a doing good stab at running the council at the moment.  Hope you notice me mentioning 2 other parties in a positive light - credit where it's due!)

In addition, as this year's council tax is going up so much, Lib Dems proposed reducing the number of exec members, rather than the basic allowance, and that would reduce the overall bill.


Thanks Geoff, greatly appreciated.
Independent Candidate for Marple North

andrewbowden

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #51 on: April 17, 2018, 01:47:59 PM »
Carolyn, many employers do make allowances for those elected to be a councillor.  For example, my employer will grant up to 18 working days leave per year to members of local councils provided that such absences do not conflict with operational requirements.  Additional leave can be taken but it is unpaid (as is anything that conflicts with operational requirements).

Given councils are often big undertakings - certainly at the county or metropolitan borough level - does make me wonder whether we should we have fewer councillors who essentially work full time.  I can see the arguments for and against, but the current system certainly has the potential to exclude.

Carolyn Leather

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #50 on: April 17, 2018, 01:40:14 PM »
Thank you Andrew Bowden, I've looked at the link you posted.

The basic allowance for councillors in 2017 was £10025.

This is approximately 2/3s the salary of someone earning the minimum wage.


Definitely something to reflect upon I think when discussing what time input we can expect from our councillors.

Carolyn Leather
Green Party Campaigner

GeoffAbell

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #49 on: April 17, 2018, 01:37:28 PM »
Councillor Geoff,

I write to you, not in criticism in any way of either you or the council, but because you are the only serving local councillor who gives us any information on this forum.

Condate was asking about... 'Where is the money for potholes was coming from?' So I thought that I would follow up, his valid concern.

Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, this is my question. The exact date eludes me, but I think that it was some time in 2015. The Council was considering taking on  what it described as 'Providential Borrowings.' It was a large sum ( I think £50 million was the figure) and this sum was to be used exclusively for repairs to the roads and footpath network across the borough. I believe that it was on an invest to save basis, the theory being that once the network had been raised to a certain standard, the money could be recouped by drawing back on the endless road maintenance programme. 

What actually happened with this?   


Thanks Kevin - I do try to keep people updated when I can say something useful.

You were a Lib Dem exec member at the time this was started and you remember correctly.  £100m  capital was borrowed on the Highways Improvement Programme to repair each ward's roads and footpaths in turn.  The idea being that maintenance and insurance claims would consequentially reduce.  Marple North was done a few years ago, with a variety of treatments.  (This good idea was first done by Tory-run Blackpool.) 

The Labour admin have continued with this scheme.  I have looked at the remaining wards and I have not yet seen Marple South mentioned as being done this year, and Windlehurst/Hibbert in particular are bad for potholes. 
(And the Labour council leader has another job, but is a doing good stab at running the council at the moment.  Hope you notice me mentioning 2 other parties in a positive light - credit where it's due!)

In addition, as this year's council tax is going up so much, Lib Dems proposed reducing the number of exec members, rather than the basic allowance, and that would reduce the overall bill.

Carolyn Leather

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #48 on: April 17, 2018, 01:31:24 PM »
My previous replies to Kevin were written in haste.  I would like the opportunity to rephrase if possible please?

My view, given that I have been told by a serving councillor that the average councillor's allowance is £9.6k, is that it is unrealistic for councillors not to have another source of income.  For most people, this is going to mean also having a full time job.

This is an issue which is worthy of discussion.  My view is that if councillors' expenses were reduced, this would preclude a whole section of society from applying for office.  We could end up with a situation where we simply have retired and wealthy people serving on the council.  Whilst they will have a valuable contribution to make, my view is that the council should be made up of people of all ages and from all walks of life.

If the public expects a councillor not to hold another job, then the renumeration of councillors needs to be reviewed. 



Carolyn Leather
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Kevin Dowling

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2018, 01:18:03 PM »
So nobody is taking any notice of this then?
As far as I'm aware this is the only independent platform for candidates to promote themselves that hasn't been blocked to political postings by administrators but all you seem to want to do is snipe at your opponent.
Should I follow Marple Matters and Marple Community Hub and close this one down too?

Admin,

I have not noticed any sniping. I am certainly not offended by anything that has been said against me. I'm not that sensitive nor immature. It's a political election! I posted my manifesto almost immediately I started the thread. I think that it is self-explanatory. I draw your attention to the last paragraph, which is my most salient point. 

 What is 'sniping' about that.

If you wish to close  the thread/forum down, it's up to you, but in my opinion, you will be doing a disservice to the Marple electorate. This election is never going to be won or lost on this forum anyway, but If people don't want to hear, then they won't tune in. However a thousand viewings  on this thread alone in the space of a few days says different. 
Independent Candidate for Marple North

Condate

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2018, 01:05:54 PM »
My comments below were meant as a compliment to Steve's hard work.  I don't think he can have any option to have a full time job as well as hoping to become a councillor, unless he has a wealthy partner

Personally, I would hope councillors did have full time jobs. When I become old enough to vote, the local (not in Marple) Conservative councillor was my local newsagent and the local Labour councillor (and mayor at times) was a driver for British Rail (on Class 40s on the ICI Hoppers). The other councillors over the years either had full time jobs, or were retired. That was expected and nobody expected, or wanted, full time councillors. The whole point of the councillors was that they were ordinary people doing ordinary jobs who also gave up (a lot) of their spare time to sit on the council.


Kevin Dowling

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2018, 12:45:37 PM »
Kevin, I think Steve has already said that he can swap shifts etc if necessary.

I am frustrated by Stephen's refusal to partake in discussions about policies and I have still no idea about his views about issues that concern me personally. I still have not seen a Stockport Lib Dem manifesto either. 

What is clear is that he is trying very hard to get this job.

Carolyn,

I am sure that you are a lovely woman and that Steve is a lovely man. I am not doubting his sincerity nor his effort in any way. I have concerns about his perception of his time. Do you think that I should keep them to myself or bring them to the attention of the electorate?
Independent Candidate for Marple North

andrewbowden

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2018, 12:23:57 PM »
A Lib Dem leaflet that came through my door said that the Lib Dems had wanted to cut certain allowances for councillors, but the motion was not approved by Conservative and Labour councillors,  I have learnt from Geoff Abel that the average councillor's expense is £9.6k.  Most people would need another job to supplement this income.  If we want committed councillor's who will dedicate plenty of time to the role, I personally think it would not be a good idea to cut their allowances.

You can find all the information about councillors allowances at https://www.stockport.gov.uk/councillors/members-allowances.  This includes all the current rates, and historical information on what each councillor has entitled to. 

Carolyn Leather

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2018, 12:16:35 PM »
My comments below were meant as a compliment to Steve's hard work.  I don't think he can have any option to have a full time job as well as hoping to become a councillor, unless he has a wealthy partner
Carolyn Leather
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Carolyn Leather

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2018, 12:12:41 PM »
A Lib Dem leaflet that came through my door said that the Lib Dems had wanted to cut certain allowances for councillors, but the motion was not approved by Conservative and Labour councillors,  I have learnt from Geoff Abel that the average councillor's expense is £9.6k.  Most people would need another job to supplement this income.  If we want committed councillor's who will dedicate plenty of time to the role, I personally think it would not be a good idea to cut their allowances.
Carolyn Leather
Green Party Campaigner

admin

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2018, 12:11:06 PM »
But over and above that, they should also concentrate on telling voters what their own policies are and what they are going to do for the area that they wish to represent. Tell us why to vote for you, rather than why not to vote for the others.

So nobody is taking any notice of this then?
As far as I'm aware this is the only independent platform for candidates to promote themselves that hasn't been blocked to political postings by administrators but all you seem to want to do is snipe at your opponent.
Should I follow Marple Matters and Marple Community Hub and close this one down too?
Mark Whittaker

The Marple Website

Carolyn Leather

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2018, 11:33:34 AM »
Kevin, I think Steve has already said that he can swap shifts etc if necessary.

I am frustrated by Stephen's refusal to partake in discussions about policies and I have still no idea about his views about issues that concern me personally. I still have not seen a Stockport Lib Dem manifesto either. 

What is clear is that he is trying very hard to get this job.


Carolyn Leather
Green Party Campaigner

Kevin Dowling

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Re: Kevin Dowling: Independent Candidate for Marple North
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2018, 10:45:21 AM »
Hello again Steve,

I feel that I must press  this issue.


I'll apologise if I'm wrong but in the last ten years on Stockport Council, I cannot recall one single case of a serving Emergency Services worker serving as a councillor. This is no coincidence and is quite simply because performing both tasks effectively is not possible.
Independent Candidate for Marple North