Much has been reported about North Lincolnshire Councillors expenses & claims over recent months and Thoades has covered this extensively producing various articles even producing an attendance chart showing who gives value for money.
How Hard Do Your Councillors Work
Back in 1975 it was reported that thirty seven out of the 41 members of Scunthorpe Borough Council had claimed a total of £5,378 for the financial year 1974-75, four of them, three Labour and one Conservative had not claimed a penny.
Finance chairman, Alec Moore claimed this was lower than any of the neighbouring boroughs, appealing for publication of the figures for Grimsby and Cleethorpes.
Looking at the Scunthorpe Borough Council figures shows allowances for attendance and financial loss came to £5,977.85 from which £1,808.10 tax was deducted leaving a net figure of £4,169.75. In addition there was subsidence and travelling expenses of £1,208.40 bringing the total net paid to £5,378.15.
The amounts paid to councillors ranged from £420 down to £11.
Conservative councillor Fed Dring was one of those who had not claimed a penny who asked why the figures had not been broken down individually and collectively.
“I fail to see why we should not have the gross amount individually and collectively,” he declared.
Councillor Moore said, “the Treasurer had presented the figures in the form decided by the council itself, if Coun Dring wanted a different format he should raise the matter at the next meeting of the Finance and General Purpose Committee.”
He continued, “Coun Dring was entitled not to claim anything if he so wished to but he thought his party colleagues who had claimed would rebuke him for raising the issue”
It was also added that Glanford Borough Councillors had claimed very much higher expenses and allowances, even with fewer members.
Coun Dring retorted, “I don’t think people who take part in public life should expect to be paid for their services. They should know it’s going to cost them money and be prepared to accept it.”
He said he treated council work as an interesting hobby.
It’s of interest to note that for the year 2010-11 each councillor on North Lincolnshire Council received a basic allowance of £7,638, an individual figure far greater than the whole amount claimed by Scunthorpe Borough Council back in 1974-75. Indeed a councillor today can claim much more travel and subsistence allowance, special responsibility allowance and dependants’ carers allowance, etc.
Records show that for 2008-9 councillors claimed a total of £550,410.47 whilst the figure for 2009-10 was £552,850.45
Is it right councillors today a rewarded handsomely for what they do, should they be able to just claim for 'out of pocket' expenses or do you believe Coun Fred Dring was right in what he said?
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