LETTER: Don’t try to justify councillor allowance rise

Your letters, emails and opinions - Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
Your letters, emails and opinions - Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

Re: last week’s letter from Coun Tom Ashton. Yet again we have another Conservative trying to justify the recent pay award to councillors with extra responsibilities. Mr Ashton says that he felt it a privilege to attend the recent full council to observe as a member of the public.

Yes he is, but he is also branch secretary of the local Conservative Association and a co-opted representative on the Boston and Skegness Association executive committee, no interest there then?!

Mr Ashton continues by stating among other things that the opposition which includes me are a disgrace and “Utterly betraying every hard working man and woman in regular employment who might ever seek to become a councillor”. I am a full-time staff nurse working early, late and night shifts. On my two days off I go round my electorate and assist those who need my help. My monthly allowance from the council is £203.00 per month.

This pays for my petrol, broadband use, ink cartridges for my printer and paper. I chose to become a councillor in order to serve the public and it is here where the word ‘privilege’ comes in to play. There are several other very hard working councillors who have day-time jobs and they manage to attend evening meetings as well as ward work.

A few of our borough councillors are county councillors, so two lots of pay and quite right too.

A few of them are also in well paid jobs and/or successful businessmen , a few are retired and financially comfortable, as you would expect with a long work history.

So a combination of financial security and time on their hands allows them to lead a very comfortable life. These are the people asking for even more money!

There is of course the point that we shouldn’t be out of pocket and the public, I think, would agree with that. We should also not benefit personally from the public purse.

Mr Ashton’s letter concludes after a magnificent textbook American history lesson by saying that to deny this pay rise is a very poor and pious political point. Oh dear! And I thought I was representing the public point of view where many are experiencing great hardships!

This pay rise was awarded at a time when so many people are suffering financially through job losses and pay freezes and The churches in Boston are having to assemble food parcels for those who are struggling to make ends meet and unable to feed their families.

We have heard the following so many times before. ‘We don’t get as much as South Holland or Lincoln’ or ‘they haven’t got this or that in Lincoln’. We don’t care about other places...We are Boston.

This pay rise is a result of greed!.

Coun Carol Taylor