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Fair pay for local councillors
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Tim Lund

Posts: 255
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #1
10-01-2013 08:31 AM

Some good questions are raised by this item on the news today, covering a report from parliamentary Local Government Select Committee saying

councillors had a right to expect an "appropriate level of compensation".

... councils in England should have the ability to transfer responsibility for setting allowances to an independent local body.

... many younger people were reluctant to stand in local elections, with the average age of a councillor at about 60.

There's no question that a typical Lewisham councillor's compensation, for the hours put in, seriously undermines the principle of a London living wage. But it is hard to imagine a local body which could independently make judgments as to whether councillors' time was well spent. Local councilors must divide the part of their time available for their role - so squeezed in after time spent earning a living or having their own life - between important but often thankless attendance at meetings, and more eye-catching and interesting policy and campaigning.

I think there could be a good case for paying people for the first part - for example, being a Trustee of local charity, or school governors, where professional competence could be independently assessed. In other words, it's not paid local councillors we want, but something more like paid local Trustees.

This post was last modified: 10-01-2013 08:35 AM by Tim Lund.

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Fair pay for local councillors - Tim Lund - 10-01-2013 08:31 AM

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