The Debate

Today the Independent (not council) Remuneration Panel published its Report. The IRP has spent the last few months interviewing and collating data on what a Cornwall Councillor should be paid. This Panel has no connection to the Council.
Some months ago a questionnaire was sent out to all Councillors. Failing that copies were available from the Member Support Officer (Sarah) She is like a Mother. She will hear your moans, gripes and general inquiries. She listens like a mother would. Sometimes saying yes, good idea, but other times she give you that look like a mother would meaning “stupid boy”.
Sadly out of 123 Councillors, only 53 did indeed fill in an return this questionnaire. You would think those others would have taken the time to fill in something that will effect them. Maybe they don’t care, but I hope those who did not complete it don’t regret taking 30 mins or so to complete this.
Here is the report going to Full Council (Cornwall Council).
Now this was always going to be a difficult decision when it comes to money and you (The Councillors) are the ones who have to vote for it. I think this should be taken out of our hands with a fully independent pay/allowance body. That way it will be free from any Political influence.
For me this is my only form of income. Its a full time job for me. It does not give me scope to find other forms of income. I could work at night, but then I will never see my son who lives with me part of the time. All I want is a living wage. I think the small increase to £14k is justifiable.  Many others might agree or disagree. I will vote and will speak on this matter during the debate. I will give my reasons why I will be voting in a certain way.
Every member of the Council should have a free vote on this matter. Sadly I don’t think this will happen. I believe some people will try and play Politics on this. Maybe from their Whips, Leaders or the Party HQ.
Maybe if there was a living wage then more people would indeed stand for election. There are lot’s of younger people who would love to be involved, but just could not afford to do it. Maybe we should think long on hard on this. Serving the community should not be the exclusive right of the Retired or those of Independent Means.
If you look at the make up of the Council only a few are under the age of 40. About 3 under 30 (the youngest is 21) The rest I would call near or at the retirement age. Is this a correct reflection or the people of Cornwall? I for one don’t think so. We should do more to encourage people to enter Local Government, but if they can’t afford to even live, then we will never encourage people in. 
One thing that is going to happen is a lively and emotive debate.


  • Anonymous

    I completely agree but just now is not the time to award ourselves a 20% increase – maybe another time but not now

    Steve Double

  • Jonathan

    Well said, I'm fed up with the annual pissing contest that is each council group trying to claim the moral high ground pay being seen to pay themselves as little as possible. It's particulalrly galling when those against any proper reform of councillors' pay are the ones with cushy outside jobs. And of course, having those outside jobs means that they have less time for council duties than those that don't. ("Oh, I can only do a licensing board half a day a month.") So, those who have the time, by definition those without outside jobs, end up taking on more work in order to just get the work done. And, as you don't get an SRA for meerly sitting on a committe, making decisions that effect people's lives and livelyhoods, we get to the position where those that do the most work are paid the least.

  • Anonymous

    The question is why havent these people got outside jobs?
    Being a cllr is not meant to be a full time job,the "pay" is to make sure you are not out of pocket doing cll work,it isnt meant to provide a living,those cllrs that rely on it for a living are wrong and should get a job.
    Strangely enough if a Cllr cant hold down a proper job I dont want them sitting on various committes just so they can make a living,far too many Cllrs couldnt run a whelk stall yet think they should make important financial decisions,laughable if it wasnt tragic.
    It isnt the job of council tax payers to provide an income for cllrs,they should get a real job.To pretend being a cllr doesnt allow you to find other work is nonsense as those cllr that work demonstrate on a daily basis.

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