Expenses claims nearing £1m per council

August 04, 2009 4:35 PM

According to an article in the Walsall Chronicle (23rd July) sent over by a WMTPA activist, Walsall councillors claimed £830,923 in expenses over the last year, making them the third biggest claimants in the Black Country and Staffordshire, beaten only by Staffordshire County Council whose elected members claimed £988,637, and Wolverhampton councillors who bagged a massive £1.05m - a huge £245 extra each on the previous year.


One Walsall councillor claimed £145 in taxi fares whilst attending a conference in London...ever heard of the tube?


Unfortunately it’s the usual story, with our elected representatives dipping into the pot to top up their allowances...Black-cab


In the article Walsall Council's leader does some dubious mathematics and claims that even with these expenses Walsall Councillors are earning just £1.20! But hang on a second – doesn’t that depend on how many hours the particular councillor works and how much he/she has claimed? Or more to the point – since when was a councillor’s allowance or their expenses supposed to be a salary?? Isn’t public office supposed to be undertaken by individuals out of a sense of civic duty rather than financial gain?


 “We don’t get paid anything for driving to meetings” he says, but who does? I don’t get paid for travelling to work either. Cllr Bird’s comments make even less sense in the context as we can see quite clearly that his fellow councillors have claimed for taxi fares, rail fares and mileages. They might not directly be getting paid for it, but they certainly don’t lose anything, so what is his point?


In the midst of enraging his electorate, it’s probably best not to try and implore them to pity him and his colleagues, especially in the midst of a recession and in view of a bruising 3.8% rise in council tax this year. 


According to an article in the Walsall Chronicle (23rd July) sent over by a WMTPA activist, Walsall councillors claimed £830,923 in expenses over the last year, making them the third biggest claimants in the Black Country and Staffordshire, beaten only by Staffordshire County Council whose elected members claimed £988,637, and Wolverhampton councillors who bagged a massive £1.05m - a huge £245 extra each on the previous year.


One Walsall councillor claimed £145 in taxi fares whilst attending a conference in London...ever heard of the tube?


Unfortunately it’s the usual story, with our elected representatives dipping into the pot to top up their allowances...Black-cab


In the article Walsall Council's leader does some dubious mathematics and claims that even with these expenses Walsall Councillors are earning just £1.20! But hang on a second – doesn’t that depend on how many hours the particular councillor works and how much he/she has claimed? Or more to the point – since when was a councillor’s allowance or their expenses supposed to be a salary?? Isn’t public office supposed to be undertaken by individuals out of a sense of civic duty rather than financial gain?


 “We don’t get paid anything for driving to meetings” he says, but who does? I don’t get paid for travelling to work either. Cllr Bird’s comments make even less sense in the context as we can see quite clearly that his fellow councillors have claimed for taxi fares, rail fares and mileages. They might not directly be getting paid for it, but they certainly don’t lose anything, so what is his point?


In the midst of enraging his electorate, it’s probably best not to try and implore them to pity him and his colleagues, especially in the midst of a recession and in view of a bruising 3.8% rise in council tax this year. 


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