Another Tory Goes at Cornwall Council

It has been a tough-time being a Tory at Cornwall Council. They lost a Council Leader (14 of them in voted in favour to remove), and a couple of Cabinet Members quit after that decision. Replacements stepped in, but last week a further two quit. One over the use of via a third-party of using what could be considered a lie detector test to see if they are not trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the council in claiming the Single Person Discount for Council Tax.

Now, it seems the Tory group has four groups within it. The former Leaders Shadow-Shadow Cabinet, Jim’s Courageous, Fiona’s Faithful, and the rest.

However, the latest resignation from both the Cabinet and Cornwall Council is the saddest news. George Trubody, the Councillor representing Rame, has stood down in both roles. The one of the reasons he has stood down is he has been offered a job that is impossible to turn down. Even though he really wanted to continue being a Councillor.

Credit where credit is due, George is a hard-working Councillor, especially at the local level. If rumours the are true, George would have been returned post May without putting out a leaflet because of all the hard-work he does. However, there is a real sadness to his resignation.

That sadness is because he could no longer afford to be a committed Councillor as he told many of his fellow Councillors in the Members room on the day he stood down. The reality of a hard-working Councillor having to step down in this way is tragic. George is also one of the few (I count six) who is under forty, and one of a dozen(ish) who is under forty-five. I wish George the best of luck, and maybe he will return to politics when he can afford to.

People have to ask themselves if they want committed, hard-working Councillors by paying them something to live on whilst carrying out their duties? Yes I know the recent rise has angered many of the public, but do we really want a Council full of people who have independent means to support their role? Surely an allowance should reflect the living wage of the area, but nothing more? I feel to do the role justice, you have to give it your full attention.

For anyone wishing to stand, they need to know the current allowance set for post-May is being challenged by a small group at Cornwall Council, who are attempting to overturn the full council’s decision. More on that later…

9 comments

  • Gill Martin

    I have always openly supported the rise in Councillors allowances and this latest news proves a point. It is surely much better to have Councillors from a cross section of society which receiving an adequate allowance can allow.

  • worried workers

    A rise gets my support.

  • anonymouse

    Doesn’t get mine – part of the reason this country is in the shit is career politicians who put their job over their constituents wishes.

    The last rise was a clear indication of this – a ridiculously high rise given the current finances of the county & country. Wish i could vote myself a big pay rise, I could certainly do with it.

  • Gill Martin

    It is not the fault of Councillors that they have to vote on allowances themselves, it is the current system. I doubt anytime would be the right time to vote for an increase according to some of the public.

  • worried worker

    “Wish i could vote myself a big pay rise, I could certainly do with it.”

    Perfect example of Crab Mentality – I can’t have it so neither can you. Except it’s flawed as Members may not be around after May, so they’re not really giving themselves anything, are they?

  • Toni Mills

    The rules need to change so that the allowances are set by an independent method. Linking them to average pay of council officers, or a particular grade on the council’s pay scales, something like that. It ought to be enough so that people who want to do the job can make ends meet, but not so much that people who want the money pick it as a job. It should be more than a job.

  • Andrew Wallis

    Hello Toni,

    I totally agree on all your points. It’s far more than a job, it is a role.

  • Chris Smith

    Blimey the maths test is difficult at night. The whole obsession with politican’s pay is just crazy and some sort of distorted politics of envy. County Councillors are not only Directors of a Company with a £1bn+ turnover, unlike the rest of us, they have no job security, no employment rights, are expected to work crazy anti-social hours if they are to fulfil the job well, are expected to soak up endless, mindless criticism, often from peole who’ve barely lifted a finger in their lives to put back what they’ve taken out of society, without it getting to them, have to watch their families distressed when they get verbal and written public abuse, have to lay their lives open to hostile press all while taking near impossible decisions on conflicting priorities in a fast changing financial and political climate they can’t control. £200k for the CEO, what on earth do critics of that pay think he/she would earn in a private sector company with similar responsibilities? Far more, and much better perks plus none of the above. Ditto Parliament, £66k basic to be a Director of Great Briatn PLC, what’s that all about? Pay peanuts, get monkeys. Carry on with allowances as they are and you will only land 2 types of Councillor, the wealthy retired or those out of work for whom the allowance is a welcome addition to Benefit income. We need to attract a wider cross section of society to offer a more even representation and more balanced viewpoints. They should be paid the going rate for the job – it’s only a drop in the ocean in relation to Council or HMG expenditure in relative terms. 123 x another £14k = 0.0017% of Cornwall’s turnover if my maths is right. Lavery drew 0.0002% of our Concil’s turnover.

  • worried worker

    Excellent post Chris, although logic tends to count for very little amongst most of the naysayers here…

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