FURTHER to the recent call by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Local Government, for councils to publish the numbers of council officials exceeding a specific salary, would it not be a good idea to extend this principle to all councillors.
Here in Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire we have number of councillors who hold a range of paid posts, such examples being district council member, leader of council, deputy leader of council, chairman of a specific council committee, member of Cambridgeshire County Council, leader of county council, deputy leader of county council, chairman of a specific county council committee, member of Cambridgeshire Police Authority, member of East of England Development Agency (now being abolished), member of Local Government Association, member of NHS boards, and members of other public bodies too numerous to mention.
My first query is how those councillors who hold a multiplicity of posts find the time to devote sufficient time and attention to all of their public roles.
Secondly, in the interests of clarity and transparency, at the forthcoming 2011 elections will all councillors publish the total payments they receive from the public purse, ie from the taxpayer?
From a cursory search of various public organisation websites, we have a number of councillors in Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire receiving in excess of £30,000 per annum and some over £50,000 per annum.
As Councillor Charles Swift of Peterborough City Council recently said in an article published in a national newspaper, there seems to be a gravy train of some professional councillors and quango members milking the system, which every taxpayer has to fund.