ONE of our leading local political parties recently asked voters, ‘have you seen your councillors’?
However, the real question a growing number are asking is not have we seen our councillors but should they continue to be paid professionals or should they revert to what they once were - volunteers with full-time jobs elsewhere who received the minimum of expenses.
I have no idea how many of our present local councillors are employed elsewhere or how many are effectively full-time councillors - and anyway, does it matter?
Some local council taxpayers appear to think it does and would like to know the answer.
We have heard it suggested by the Conservatives that a sum of about £100,000 could be saved if the current number of ward councillors was reduced. However, there is no suggestion councillors’ allowances should be also be significantly reduced.
Were such a proposal to be put forward, I am certain that it would carry much greater weight with the voters than what is being suggested at present by the Conservatives.
Why not make a start by reducing the number of committees councillors are required to sit on?
We could follow up by getting rid of the so-called Cabinet function some of our councillors sit on – which I understand attracts a further allowance for those involved.
In reality, officers undertake most of the preparatory work. I am sure the majority of our councillors do a good job but at what cost?
We have a group of professional local government officers headed by a chief executive who I am certain does a first class job supported by an experienced team deservedly in receipt of a good salaries.