Sunday, December 09, 2007

Rewarding councillors for failure?

It will be interesting later this week to see what Hazel Blears actually says the Government position is on a report that they commissioned in local authorities. Some of the recommendations include the idea of giving "golden goodbyes" to councillors that get voted out of office to the tune of £10,000.

Obviously what they mean here really is money for Labour councillors who have zero experience of the real world, don't have real jobs, and instead just do politics. After all, someone who is a Cabinet member for a local Council has an salary allowance of above £25,000 a year for what is effectively a part-time job, and in many cases they don't actually do very much for that money.

When they get voted out they effectively become unemployed so the argument is that they should receive severance for it. Now, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here, but being a councillor is about doing something voluntarily for your local area. It is not a career, and, if you're too stupid to get yourself a proper job in addition to the 10 meetings you have to go to each month, then frankly you don't deserve a penny.

You especially don't deserve to be paid when you are voted out because the electorate doesn't want you anymore. Why should the people that vote someone out because they have failed then be expected to foot the bill for their failure? Normal people have to go on the dole, so should ex-councillors.


Alan Douglas said...

But Dizzy, you have missed a trick here - who says that the WON'T go on the dole once they have pocketed that £ 10,000 ? After all, without a job they would be entitled ....

Alan Douglas

Shug Niggurath said...

I hate the fact that they made councillors a paid job.

But to offer 40% as 'severance' after only 4 or five years work??? Can they make it a law that we all are entitled to such generous redundancy payments? I was made redundant after 7 years with a company a couple of years ago and I got 7 weeks pay, it hardly seems fair that politicians of any flavour always seem to come out better than the rest of us.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

someone who is a Cabinet member for a local Council has an salary allowance of above £25,000 a year

Maybe where you are, but that's nowhere near the amount up in my neck of the woods... Still, I would welcome that amount if it provided an incentive for competent and creative people to get involved in local government to see through good ideas and provide real leadership.

dreamingspire said...

10 meetings a month and read all the papers and go on site visits and join in public consultations and handle the residents' problems and realise that you really ought to take on some of the other charitable tasks that the Council is pledged to find people to do.. At least, that's what a Councillor in my city should be doing, and thus its really more than a full time job if you do it diligently - some treat it like that. Not the proper way to run Council - and I'm not talking about Executive Cabinet Members, who have an even worse job. Yes, there are those with full time jobs, and those with other public sector roles (one here used to work 3 days a week for some regional body that actually didn't do us any good at all), and probably still those with the kind of businesses that means they can commit some business resources. And yes, there are Councils such as mine where the Chief Officers clearly do not do their jobs properly, and thus Executive Members and Councillors have much too high a workload: they should make it very clear to the Chief Officers that they had better shape up or else.

Tony said...

You are spot on Dizzy, it is not supposed to be a career. But changes to some larger local authorities and the move to Unitaries means some Councillors are effectively full time and earn quite a whack.

The sly thing about the recommendations is there are more Conservative Councillors than Labour ones. So if the proposals are taken up Labour can say it is apolitical and therefore not a partisan attempt to line their own pockets. It is contemptible.

Anonymous said...

"Now, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here, but being a councillor is about doing something voluntarily for your local area."

I think you are absolutely correct.