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Morag Bray writes: Truly astonishing... I read today that one of our Peterborough City Conservative councillors has decided to give away or 'donate' her latest annual rise err sorry 'civic allowances' of £2,100 (paid from public funds) to a local charity of her choice....
All well and good, but it did raise a few thoughts for me about this.....especially as the City Council is facing an ever increasing debt mountain and curtailing services, some of them basic and essential, as a result.
Anyone else in this City receive a rise of £2k last year?
Why is the local paper blocking discussion on this? I stopped buying it some time ago, and at a time when other local papers (equally strapped for cash) in this county, do in my humble opinion, make a huge effort to report all aspects of local news and politics, and still they fight to survive...
Does this mean all Peterborough councillors will in future - possibly on a whim - 'donate' part of their civic allowances to their favourite charities? Lord and Lady bountiful indeed, but civic allowances are designed for councillors to carry out their core civic duties, and therefore paid out of PUBLIC FUNDS!
So morally, it really isn't in their gift to give away our public funds, and if not required for performing their civic duty should be returned to reduce the cash strapped City Councils' ever increasing debt mountain.
Simply for clarity, I repeat, shouldn't this unwanted money be returned to the public purse, after all it is public money?
Logically if this pattern continues, we could see fifty councillors all donating £2k each, to their own pet charities, at the same time as council tax on property is being hiked by 4 per cent...
If this seemingly unwanted £2,100 is multiplied by fifty, that is returned to the council by each and every councillor, that is budget reduction of £100k plus. In just five short years, that's over a cool half a million pounds knocked off the council debt mountain!
If reports of this 'charitable largesse' ever gets back to Westminster, the extra funds, the council leader - forever pleading fiscal poverty - extra funds he is seeking from Westminster, will never ever materialise...
Remember the council ponied up £15 million to top slice Fletton Quays, seemingly as the developers couldn't fund the investment risk, but now its reflected in the 4% council tax hike.
Saddest of all in my humble opinion is the woeful lack of debate if one councillor finds they don't need a extra £2k, what of the others?
Being a councillor was never intended to be a full time job, which is why they receive allowances/expenses instead of a wage......or do they?
What do you think?
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