LETTER: Lincolnshire County Councillors should give up their expenses

Lincolnshire County Councillors’ have voted to take greatly increased allowances, proposed by the (so called) “independent body”.

In the case of the leader of LCC - Cllr. Martin Hill - the increase to his “special responsibility” allowance would rise by

56% - from £20,448 to £32,000 , and other Councillors by about 25% !!!

With great credit to Martin Hill - he has stated that he will NOT take an increase to his allowances.

It is pretty unbelievable in these difficult economic times, that such Committees are SO blinkered in their outlook that they choose to ignore the general economic state of things around them, and propose ludicrous, unaffordable monetary increases to whatever organisation they represent. (This is equally true of 
MP’s, who have been
awarded an undeserved 11% pay rise).

When we have roads that are falling apart, road signage uncleaned, libraries closing, thousands of staff losing their jobs, together with curtailed ambulance, fire and police services, plus many other reductions to essential infrastructure because of “cutbacks” - it is rather obscene that such decisions are even made or given any credible attention.

Whilst these bodies purport to be “independent”, their decisions are usually out of touch with “actual” economic conditions, and leave the distinct impression that “they are looking after their own”, and being well paid to do so !

It is irrelevant that LCC allowances are less than other Councils, it is not a competitive league table to see who gets higher benefits, but should be fairly reflective of general economic trends over the Country as a whole.

An approximate 25% increase to Councillors is not realistic - or justified - in the current economic climate - particularly when Council employees are losing their jobs to (indirectly) sustain these idiotic increases to allowances.

Most County Councillors already enjoy a basic allowance of around £160.00 per week, this is often boosted by a particular responsibility benefit of a further £80.00 per week - a very pleasant £240.00 weekly income for performing their chosen “voluntary” job for the Community !!

Whilst Councillors should NOT be out of pocket in the performance of their duties, I see no legitimate reason that they should profit from it either,but should rightly, receive ONLY reimbursement of their ACTUAL expenses.

It will be most interesting to see “which” local County Councillors do not give in to greed, but have the courage and integrity to refuse to take any increase AT ALL.

This would align them with some understanding and sympathy for the electorate, and put self interest and greed behind them in the current economic conditions,by following the excellent and highly commendable example of the Leader of LCC !!

Ron Fisher

Hemingby Way, Horncastle