POLL: Are Swindon's councillors worth their wage?

This Is Wiltshire: Swindon Borough Council is looking for someone to serve on an independent panel  to decide pay for councillors Swindon Borough Council is looking for someone to serve on an independent panel to decide pay for councillors

SWINDON Borough Council has launched a search for someone to help decide how much its elected members should be paid.

The new appointment will serve on an independent five-strong panel which recommends the allowances for Swindon's councillors.

The basic allowance for a councillor is currently £7,710, so today we ask our readers if that represents value for money?

Don't forget to add your reasons in the comments section and we will publish the best in the paper.

Comments (32)

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11:43am Thu 9 Jan 14

swindondad says...

IMHO the people of Swindon would be better served if we had a smaller number of full time higher paid councilors.

The current system limits the number and variety of people who come forward for election to those who do not need the money or who are able to fit council duties around another job (which is not possible for all).
IMHO the people of Swindon would be better served if we had a smaller number of full time higher paid councilors. The current system limits the number and variety of people who come forward for election to those who do not need the money or who are able to fit council duties around another job (which is not possible for all). swindondad
  • Score: 12

12:11pm Thu 9 Jan 14

beach1e says...

all people that are in receipt of money from taxpayers should be evaluated to see what value for money they are, public services seem to be shocking at the moment, look at teachers, we are turning out school leavers with less and less real qualifications, we have teachers that only work 9 months a year yet get a full years wage, we have people in the council,civil servants ,social workers who fail time and time again in their jobs and nothing is done about it except to give them more money.
all people that are in receipt of money from taxpayers should be evaluated to see what value for money they are, public services seem to be shocking at the moment, look at teachers, we are turning out school leavers with less and less real qualifications, we have teachers that only work 9 months a year yet get a full years wage, we have people in the council,civil servants ,social workers who fail time and time again in their jobs and nothing is done about it except to give them more money. beach1e
  • Score: 1

12:11pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Davethered says...

IMO they are like politicians they are very nice when we have an election coming up , they promise you the earth and do exactly the opposite , to what people want / need . Just look at that idiotic road system where whale bridge used to be. Who could have thought that up . Waste of time and money are councilors , they could do a better job with half the amount .
IMO they are like politicians they are very nice when we have an election coming up , they promise you the earth and do exactly the opposite , to what people want / need . Just look at that idiotic road system where whale bridge used to be. Who could have thought that up . Waste of time and money are councilors , they could do a better job with half the amount . Davethered
  • Score: 1

12:13pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Silvergeek says...

That's £642.50 a month, more than some pensioners get, and exactly what is that amount of money supposed to compensate them for?

They wanted to represent their community, I am not saying they should not get compensation for travelling to council meetings, food on that occasion, wear and tear etc,

Just seems over kill to me.

I am prepared to be enlightened.
That's £642.50 a month, more than some pensioners get, and exactly what is that amount of money supposed to compensate them for? They wanted to represent their community, I am not saying they should not get compensation for travelling to council meetings, food on that occasion, wear and tear etc, Just seems over kill to me. I am prepared to be enlightened. Silvergeek
  • Score: 1

12:24pm Thu 9 Jan 14

BeardyBill says...

Being a Councillor should be seen as voluntary public service, not a second income. I'd give them a free phone line/broadband, a mobile phone, and a bus pass - that's all they need to be contactable by their constituents, and travel to attend meetings etc.

As there is always plenty of people standing for election, there isn't a recruitment shortage - also, very few quit mid term, so there isn't a retention problem. As the rest of us live in a free market economy which drives wages down to the lowest sustainable level, our "leaders" should be governed by the same rules.
Being a Councillor should be seen as voluntary public service, not a second income. I'd give them a free phone line/broadband, a mobile phone, and a bus pass - that's all they need to be contactable by their constituents, and travel to attend meetings etc. As there is always plenty of people standing for election, there isn't a recruitment shortage - also, very few quit mid term, so there isn't a retention problem. As the rest of us live in a free market economy which drives wages down to the lowest sustainable level, our "leaders" should be governed by the same rules. BeardyBill
  • Score: 2

12:36pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Always Grumpy says...

What's the betting someone will be appointed who supports increasing payments to councilors, rather like the committee awarding huge pay rises to MP's.
Why don't I trust anything this council does farther than I could throw the lot of them?
What's the betting someone will be appointed who supports increasing payments to councilors, rather like the committee awarding huge pay rises to MP's. Why don't I trust anything this council does farther than I could throw the lot of them? Always Grumpy
  • Score: 6

1:03pm Thu 9 Jan 14

BCDR99 says...

Give them a proper wage so that it can be a full time job and have less of them. How we can have 650 MPs running the country (with calls for that to be reduced) and then apparently it takes nearly 10% of that (57) to run a small borough like Swindon.

Halve the number of councillors at least and then make it a full time job with a decent wage.
Give them a proper wage so that it can be a full time job and have less of them. How we can have 650 MPs running the country (with calls for that to be reduced) and then apparently it takes nearly 10% of that (57) to run a small borough like Swindon. Halve the number of councillors at least and then make it a full time job with a decent wage. BCDR99
  • Score: 5

1:04pm Thu 9 Jan 14

house on the hill says...

beach1e wrote:
all people that are in receipt of money from taxpayers should be evaluated to see what value for money they are, public services seem to be shocking at the moment, look at teachers, we are turning out school leavers with less and less real qualifications, we have teachers that only work 9 months a year yet get a full years wage, we have people in the council,civil servants ,social workers who fail time and time again in their jobs and nothing is done about it except to give them more money.
Absolutely spot on. they should be on performance related pay and be accountable for their failures, councillors and public sector workers. This ludicrous situation of the unique public sector "monopoly" where not only do they have no competition for their services and no accountability for their actions, if they want more money they just raise taxes!
Councillors dont have to have and knowledge of the areas they cover in a lot of cases and no experience. And yes they are trying to juggle it with their full time jobs too so it isnt really surprising the quality of work is very low.
[quote][p][bold]beach1e[/bold] wrote: all people that are in receipt of money from taxpayers should be evaluated to see what value for money they are, public services seem to be shocking at the moment, look at teachers, we are turning out school leavers with less and less real qualifications, we have teachers that only work 9 months a year yet get a full years wage, we have people in the council,civil servants ,social workers who fail time and time again in their jobs and nothing is done about it except to give them more money.[/p][/quote]Absolutely spot on. they should be on performance related pay and be accountable for their failures, councillors and public sector workers. This ludicrous situation of the unique public sector "monopoly" where not only do they have no competition for their services and no accountability for their actions, if they want more money they just raise taxes! Councillors dont have to have and knowledge of the areas they cover in a lot of cases and no experience. And yes they are trying to juggle it with their full time jobs too so it isnt really surprising the quality of work is very low. house on the hill
  • Score: 3

1:40pm Thu 9 Jan 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Is the allowance taken as a "salary" and paid regardless, or is it a maximum allowable expense claim? Do they get expenses on top? Is it tax'd? For expenses do they need to have receipts?

All Councillors should be independent of a political party and should be working to the common good of the borough. The petty infighting and point scoring that we have seen reported in the Adver is a disgrace.
Is the allowance taken as a "salary" and paid regardless, or is it a maximum allowable expense claim? Do they get expenses on top? Is it tax'd? For expenses do they need to have receipts? All Councillors should be independent of a political party and should be working to the common good of the borough. The petty infighting and point scoring that we have seen reported in the Adver is a disgrace. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 4

1:55pm Thu 9 Jan 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

I've voted on the basis of our current councillors. I have voted that they should be paid less purely because I do not believe they represent the wishes or beliefs of the vast majority of residents. There have been several high profile instances in the last few years where they have wasted our money, been negligent with our money, or indeed are just a waste of space that do nothing for our money!

*If* we could rely on our councillors to actually represent those that vote for them adequately, I'd say they should be paid more. However, with the current lot I'd say they should be paid less. A lot less. As in zero, you're fired less.
I've voted on the basis of our current councillors. I have voted that they should be paid less purely because I do not believe they represent the wishes or beliefs of the vast majority of residents. There have been several high profile instances in the last few years where they have wasted our money, been negligent with our money, or indeed are just a waste of space that do nothing for our money! *If* we could rely on our councillors to actually represent those that vote for them adequately, I'd say they should be paid more. However, with the current lot I'd say they should be paid less. A lot less. As in zero, you're fired less. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 5

1:56pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Davey Gravey says...

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man wrote:
I've voted on the basis of our current councillors. I have voted that they should be paid less purely because I do not believe they represent the wishes or beliefs of the vast majority of residents. There have been several high profile instances in the last few years where they have wasted our money, been negligent with our money, or indeed are just a waste of space that do nothing for our money!

*If* we could rely on our councillors to actually represent those that vote for them adequately, I'd say they should be paid more. However, with the current lot I'd say they should be paid less. A lot less. As in zero, you're fired less.
This basically says it for me. Spot on!!!!
[quote][p][bold]The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man[/bold] wrote: I've voted on the basis of our current councillors. I have voted that they should be paid less purely because I do not believe they represent the wishes or beliefs of the vast majority of residents. There have been several high profile instances in the last few years where they have wasted our money, been negligent with our money, or indeed are just a waste of space that do nothing for our money! *If* we could rely on our councillors to actually represent those that vote for them adequately, I'd say they should be paid more. However, with the current lot I'd say they should be paid less. A lot less. As in zero, you're fired less.[/p][/quote]This basically says it for me. Spot on!!!! Davey Gravey
  • Score: 2

2:14pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Spurs Fan says...

Some of our current Councillors work very hard for their constituents, others not so hard! Some are very good at what they do, others not so good. I suppose there should be some kind of yearly appraisal whereby you get stood down if you are not attending meetings and representing the people who elected you. I would also be in favour of of less Councillors across the borough, why do we need three in every ward? Perhaps we should pay Councillors more, have less of them and make sure they do what they promised to do when elected?
Some of our current Councillors work very hard for their constituents, others not so hard! Some are very good at what they do, others not so good. I suppose there should be some kind of yearly appraisal whereby you get stood down if you are not attending meetings and representing the people who elected you. I would also be in favour of of less Councillors across the borough, why do we need three in every ward? Perhaps we should pay Councillors more, have less of them and make sure they do what they promised to do when elected? Spurs Fan
  • Score: -3

2:20pm Thu 9 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

Silvergeek wrote:
That's £642.50 a month, more than some pensioners get, and exactly what is that amount of money supposed to compensate them for?

They wanted to represent their community, I am not saying they should not get compensation for travelling to council meetings, food on that occasion, wear and tear etc,

Just seems over kill to me.

I am prepared to be enlightened.
First of all, I doubt very many (any?) councillors have no other job or income, so it won't work out to £642.50 per month at all. Try closer to £430 per month, assuming they're still only earning less than £41,500 combined.

What have pensioners got to do with it? By definition, they're not doing any work for their income, so you'd expect it to be lower than somebody who is working.

Ironically, it's usually the left-wing who like to see public servants and, especially, politicians paid larger sums of money because it means those who are not independently wealthy can get their snout in the trough.
[quote][p][bold]Silvergeek[/bold] wrote: That's £642.50 a month, more than some pensioners get, and exactly what is that amount of money supposed to compensate them for? They wanted to represent their community, I am not saying they should not get compensation for travelling to council meetings, food on that occasion, wear and tear etc, Just seems over kill to me. I am prepared to be enlightened.[/p][/quote]First of all, I doubt very many (any?) councillors have no other job or income, so it won't work out to £642.50 per month at all. Try closer to £430 per month, assuming they're still only earning less than £41,500 combined. What have pensioners got to do with it? By definition, they're not doing any work for their income, so you'd expect it to be lower than somebody who is working. Ironically, it's usually the left-wing who like to see public servants and, especially, politicians paid larger sums of money because it means those who are not independently wealthy can get their snout in the trough. ChannelX
  • Score: 2

2:46pm Thu 9 Jan 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

ChannelX wrote:
Silvergeek wrote:
That's £642.50 a month, more than some pensioners get, and exactly what is that amount of money supposed to compensate them for?

They wanted to represent their community, I am not saying they should not get compensation for travelling to council meetings, food on that occasion, wear and tear etc,

Just seems over kill to me.

I am prepared to be enlightened.
First of all, I doubt very many (any?) councillors have no other job or income, so it won't work out to £642.50 per month at all. Try closer to £430 per month, assuming they're still only earning less than £41,500 combined.

What have pensioners got to do with it? By definition, they're not doing any work for their income, so you'd expect it to be lower than somebody who is working.

Ironically, it's usually the left-wing who like to see public servants and, especially, politicians paid larger sums of money because it means those who are not independently wealthy can get their snout in the trough.
Load of rubbish and nothing to do with left wing or any other kind of wing. I'll elaborate more on my previous statement.

Most normal people believe people should be paid a sensible adequate wage commensurate with the position they hold and how difficult, demanding or in demand the position is combined with how many people actually want to do the job. Hence those people in positions requiring certain in demand skills get paid more, as do less desirable (for some) professions such as oil rig workers. There are plenty of people queuing up to be councillors so logic would dictate they shouldn't command a higher allowance. However *if* they were doing the job correctly and representing us adequately it would be an incredibly demanding position worthy of a much higher wage.

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to point out that (as has been pointed out on here many times), councillors do not get a "wage", they get an "allowance".
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Silvergeek[/bold] wrote: That's £642.50 a month, more than some pensioners get, and exactly what is that amount of money supposed to compensate them for? They wanted to represent their community, I am not saying they should not get compensation for travelling to council meetings, food on that occasion, wear and tear etc, Just seems over kill to me. I am prepared to be enlightened.[/p][/quote]First of all, I doubt very many (any?) councillors have no other job or income, so it won't work out to £642.50 per month at all. Try closer to £430 per month, assuming they're still only earning less than £41,500 combined. What have pensioners got to do with it? By definition, they're not doing any work for their income, so you'd expect it to be lower than somebody who is working. Ironically, it's usually the left-wing who like to see public servants and, especially, politicians paid larger sums of money because it means those who are not independently wealthy can get their snout in the trough.[/p][/quote]Load of rubbish and nothing to do with left wing or any other kind of wing. I'll elaborate more on my previous statement. Most normal people believe people should be paid a sensible adequate wage commensurate with the position they hold and how difficult, demanding or in demand the position is combined with how many people actually want to do the job. Hence those people in positions requiring certain in demand skills get paid more, as do less desirable (for some) professions such as oil rig workers. There are plenty of people queuing up to be councillors so logic would dictate they shouldn't command a higher allowance. However *if* they were doing the job correctly and representing us adequately it would be an incredibly demanding position worthy of a much higher wage. Finally, it would be remiss of me not to point out that (as has been pointed out on here many times), councillors do not get a "wage", they get an "allowance". The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: -3

3:05pm Thu 9 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

How, exactly, is it 'rubbish'?

£7710 is clearly not an 'adequate' wage for anybody. Nobody can live on that, in fact, if it were pro-rata over a standard 40 hour week it'd be a little over HALF the national minimum wage.

Therefore, most councillors will have other jobs or income, which means their allowance will end up being taxed and NI'd such that they would receive less than 2/3 of it, if that.

While there may be people 'queuing up' to be councillors (really?), a person has to actually get themselves voted in before becoming one. It's a rather daft position to take in any case - or are you suggesting that nurses deserve low pay because plenty of people want to be nurses? Also, loads of young boys want to be pro-footballers, it doesn't mean pro-footballers get paid low salaries, does it?

'Wage', 'salary', 'allowance', 'expenses' - it's all our money going into their pockets, whatever word you want to describe it.
How, exactly, is it 'rubbish'? £7710 is clearly not an 'adequate' wage for anybody. Nobody can live on that, in fact, if it were pro-rata over a standard 40 hour week it'd be a little over HALF the national minimum wage. Therefore, most councillors will have other jobs or income, which means their allowance will end up being taxed and NI'd such that they would receive less than 2/3 of it, if that. While there may be people 'queuing up' to be councillors (really?), a person has to actually get themselves voted in before becoming one. It's a rather daft position to take in any case - or are you suggesting that nurses deserve low pay because plenty of people want to be nurses? Also, loads of young boys want to be pro-footballers, it doesn't mean pro-footballers get paid low salaries, does it? 'Wage', 'salary', 'allowance', 'expenses' - it's all our money going into their pockets, whatever word you want to describe it. ChannelX
  • Score: 5

3:50pm Thu 9 Jan 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

ChannelX wrote:
How, exactly, is it 'rubbish'?

£7710 is clearly not an 'adequate' wage for anybody. Nobody can live on that, in fact, if it were pro-rata over a standard 40 hour week it'd be a little over HALF the national minimum wage.

Therefore, most councillors will have other jobs or income, which means their allowance will end up being taxed and NI'd such that they would receive less than 2/3 of it, if that.

While there may be people 'queuing up' to be councillors (really?), a person has to actually get themselves voted in before becoming one. It's a rather daft position to take in any case - or are you suggesting that nurses deserve low pay because plenty of people want to be nurses? Also, loads of young boys want to be pro-footballers, it doesn't mean pro-footballers get paid low salaries, does it?

'Wage', 'salary', 'allowance', 'expenses' - it's all our money going into their pockets, whatever word you want to describe it.
It's rubbish because it's nothing to with being left wing or other wing. It's not an adequate "wage" because it's not a wage, it's an allowance. It is therefore not intended to be the primary income for the councillor. Do councillors work 40 hour weeks on councillor stuff? For the vast majority I doubt it.

Nurses are not particularly poorly paid. Yes they start at around £15,000 salary but with age and experience (and hard work) the salary bands go up to well beyond the national average wage.

Lots of young boys want to be pro-footballers but not all boys are capable of being pro-footballers. The skills of a top level pro-footballer are in demand and so therefore commands a high wage.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: How, exactly, is it 'rubbish'? £7710 is clearly not an 'adequate' wage for anybody. Nobody can live on that, in fact, if it were pro-rata over a standard 40 hour week it'd be a little over HALF the national minimum wage. Therefore, most councillors will have other jobs or income, which means their allowance will end up being taxed and NI'd such that they would receive less than 2/3 of it, if that. While there may be people 'queuing up' to be councillors (really?), a person has to actually get themselves voted in before becoming one. It's a rather daft position to take in any case - or are you suggesting that nurses deserve low pay because plenty of people want to be nurses? Also, loads of young boys want to be pro-footballers, it doesn't mean pro-footballers get paid low salaries, does it? 'Wage', 'salary', 'allowance', 'expenses' - it's all our money going into their pockets, whatever word you want to describe it.[/p][/quote]It's rubbish because it's nothing to with being left wing or other wing. It's not an adequate "wage" because it's not a wage, it's an allowance. It is therefore not intended to be the primary income for the councillor. Do councillors work 40 hour weeks on councillor stuff? For the vast majority I doubt it. Nurses are not particularly poorly paid. Yes they start at around £15,000 salary but with age and experience (and hard work) the salary bands go up to well beyond the national average wage. Lots of young boys want to be pro-footballers but not all boys are capable of being pro-footballers. The skills of a top level pro-footballer are in demand and so therefore commands a high wage. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: -3

4:14pm Thu 9 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

Actually, you are wrong. Whether you like it or not, it IS generally left-wingers who support the idea of a decent salary for politicians, whether that be councillors or MPs. The idea is that it opens up the positions to as many people as possible and doesn't exclude those who don't have any other source of income.

I actually agree with you re. nurses pay, but they're always the 'go to' example by the usual suspects for an occupation that should receive more money and yet there's never any shortage of young people wanting to be nurses.

Yes, I know why pro-footballers earn a high wage, but your point was that people are supposedly 'queuing up' to be councillors (which I doubt, but anyway...) and so there's no need to pay them much. It's just not a very logical argument for not paying them much.

As it stands, I think the current salary is probably about right, although I do believe all councillors should have their time accounted for. In other words, it's good value to have a councillor do 15 hours a week for the current wage, but very bad value if they only put in 1.5 hours a week.
Actually, you are wrong. Whether you like it or not, it IS generally left-wingers who support the idea of a decent salary for politicians, whether that be councillors or MPs. The idea is that it opens up the positions to as many people as possible and doesn't exclude those who don't have any other source of income. I actually agree with you re. nurses pay, but they're always the 'go to' example by the usual suspects for an occupation that should receive more money and yet there's never any shortage of young people wanting to be nurses. Yes, I know why pro-footballers earn a high wage, but your point was that people are supposedly 'queuing up' to be councillors (which I doubt, but anyway...) and so there's no need to pay them much. It's just not a very logical argument for not paying them much. As it stands, I think the current salary is probably about right, although I do believe all councillors should have their time accounted for. In other words, it's good value to have a councillor do 15 hours a week for the current wage, but very bad value if they only put in 1.5 hours a week. ChannelX
  • Score: 2

4:35pm Thu 9 Jan 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

ChannelX wrote:
Actually, you are wrong. Whether you like it or not, it IS generally left-wingers who support the idea of a decent salary for politicians, whether that be councillors or MPs. The idea is that it opens up the positions to as many people as possible and doesn't exclude those who don't have any other source of income.

I actually agree with you re. nurses pay, but they're always the 'go to' example by the usual suspects for an occupation that should receive more money and yet there's never any shortage of young people wanting to be nurses.

Yes, I know why pro-footballers earn a high wage, but your point was that people are supposedly 'queuing up' to be councillors (which I doubt, but anyway...) and so there's no need to pay them much. It's just not a very logical argument for not paying them much.

As it stands, I think the current salary is probably about right, although I do believe all councillors should have their time accounted for. In other words, it's good value to have a councillor do 15 hours a week for the current wage, but very bad value if they only put in 1.5 hours a week.
I'm not a "left winger", and I support the idea of an appropriate salary for politicians, so that blows your theory out of the water.

It's a perfectly logical argument - it's all about supply and demand. As the supply goes up the wage demand goes down. As the quality goes up, the wage demand goes up. As there is more than adequate supply of councillors for the size of our council, and our councillors most definitely do not conform to any definition of "quality", I see no reason to pay them more.

And yes, of course their time should be accountable - you mean it isn't?!!!
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: Actually, you are wrong. Whether you like it or not, it IS generally left-wingers who support the idea of a decent salary for politicians, whether that be councillors or MPs. The idea is that it opens up the positions to as many people as possible and doesn't exclude those who don't have any other source of income. I actually agree with you re. nurses pay, but they're always the 'go to' example by the usual suspects for an occupation that should receive more money and yet there's never any shortage of young people wanting to be nurses. Yes, I know why pro-footballers earn a high wage, but your point was that people are supposedly 'queuing up' to be councillors (which I doubt, but anyway...) and so there's no need to pay them much. It's just not a very logical argument for not paying them much. As it stands, I think the current salary is probably about right, although I do believe all councillors should have their time accounted for. In other words, it's good value to have a councillor do 15 hours a week for the current wage, but very bad value if they only put in 1.5 hours a week.[/p][/quote]I'm not a "left winger", and I support the idea of an appropriate salary for politicians, so that blows your theory out of the water. It's a perfectly logical argument - it's all about supply and demand. As the supply goes up the wage demand goes down. As the quality goes up, the wage demand goes up. As there is more than adequate supply of councillors for the size of our council, and our councillors most definitely do not conform to any definition of "quality", I see no reason to pay them more. And yes, of course their time should be accountable - you mean it isn't?!!! The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 1

5:13pm Thu 9 Jan 14

BeardyBill says...

ChannelX wrote:
How, exactly, is it 'rubbish'?

£7710 is clearly not an 'adequate' wage for anybody. Nobody can live on that, in fact, if it were pro-rata over a standard 40 hour week it'd be a little over HALF the national minimum wage.

Therefore, most councillors will have other jobs or income, which means their allowance will end up being taxed and NI'd such that they would receive less than 2/3 of it, if that.

While there may be people 'queuing up' to be councillors (really?), a person has to actually get themselves voted in before becoming one. It's a rather daft position to take in any case - or are you suggesting that nurses deserve low pay because plenty of people want to be nurses? Also, loads of young boys want to be pro-footballers, it doesn't mean pro-footballers get paid low salaries, does it?

'Wage', 'salary', 'allowance', 'expenses' - it's all our money going into their pockets, whatever word you want to describe it.
@channelX your argument is a nonsense - to be a footballer or a nurse you have to have some skill , training and/ or experience. All you have to do to be a councillor is get more votes than anyone else. When you factor in the party system, and the indisputable fact that some wards would vote for a shaved monkey, provided it wears the right colour rosette, it's clear that councillors are not being rewarded for skills, training or experience.

Strip out the party system, let's have independents standing on their own merits. Even then, I think they should be reimbursed reasonable costs of doing the job, but not paid an allowance/ wage whatever you want to call it. Standing for office should be voluntary service for the good of the community, in the same way many thousands of other people give freely of their time and effort for other good causes.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: How, exactly, is it 'rubbish'? £7710 is clearly not an 'adequate' wage for anybody. Nobody can live on that, in fact, if it were pro-rata over a standard 40 hour week it'd be a little over HALF the national minimum wage. Therefore, most councillors will have other jobs or income, which means their allowance will end up being taxed and NI'd such that they would receive less than 2/3 of it, if that. While there may be people 'queuing up' to be councillors (really?), a person has to actually get themselves voted in before becoming one. It's a rather daft position to take in any case - or are you suggesting that nurses deserve low pay because plenty of people want to be nurses? Also, loads of young boys want to be pro-footballers, it doesn't mean pro-footballers get paid low salaries, does it? 'Wage', 'salary', 'allowance', 'expenses' - it's all our money going into their pockets, whatever word you want to describe it.[/p][/quote]@channelX your argument is a nonsense - to be a footballer or a nurse you have to have some skill , training and/ or experience. All you have to do to be a councillor is get more votes than anyone else. When you factor in the party system, and the indisputable fact that some wards would vote for a shaved monkey, provided it wears the right colour rosette, it's clear that councillors are not being rewarded for skills, training or experience. Strip out the party system, let's have independents standing on their own merits. Even then, I think they should be reimbursed reasonable costs of doing the job, but not paid an allowance/ wage whatever you want to call it. Standing for office should be voluntary service for the good of the community, in the same way many thousands of other people give freely of their time and effort for other good causes. BeardyBill
  • Score: -1

5:19pm Thu 9 Jan 14

BeardyBill says...

@channelx it is an indisputable fact that people are queuing up to be councillors.......yo
u tell me the last time a ward in Swindon was uncontested? There are always at least 2 candidates, and generally 3or 4 candidates to choose from.
@channelx it is an indisputable fact that people are queuing up to be councillors.......yo u tell me the last time a ward in Swindon was uncontested? There are always at least 2 candidates, and generally 3or 4 candidates to choose from. BeardyBill
  • Score: -2

5:26pm Thu 9 Jan 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

BeardyBill wrote:
ChannelX wrote:
How, exactly, is it 'rubbish'?

£7710 is clearly not an 'adequate' wage for anybody. Nobody can live on that, in fact, if it were pro-rata over a standard 40 hour week it'd be a little over HALF the national minimum wage.

Therefore, most councillors will have other jobs or income, which means their allowance will end up being taxed and NI'd such that they would receive less than 2/3 of it, if that.

While there may be people 'queuing up' to be councillors (really?), a person has to actually get themselves voted in before becoming one. It's a rather daft position to take in any case - or are you suggesting that nurses deserve low pay because plenty of people want to be nurses? Also, loads of young boys want to be pro-footballers, it doesn't mean pro-footballers get paid low salaries, does it?

'Wage', 'salary', 'allowance', 'expenses' - it's all our money going into their pockets, whatever word you want to describe it.
@channelX your argument is a nonsense - to be a footballer or a nurse you have to have some skill , training and/ or experience. All you have to do to be a councillor is get more votes than anyone else. When you factor in the party system, and the indisputable fact that some wards would vote for a shaved monkey, provided it wears the right colour rosette, it's clear that councillors are not being rewarded for skills, training or experience.

Strip out the party system, let's have independents standing on their own merits. Even then, I think they should be reimbursed reasonable costs of doing the job, but not paid an allowance/ wage whatever you want to call it. Standing for office should be voluntary service for the good of the community, in the same way many thousands of other people give freely of their time and effort for other good causes.
I'll vote for the shaved monkey (or even an unshaven one), it doesn't even have to wear a rosette :-)
[quote][p][bold]BeardyBill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: How, exactly, is it 'rubbish'? £7710 is clearly not an 'adequate' wage for anybody. Nobody can live on that, in fact, if it were pro-rata over a standard 40 hour week it'd be a little over HALF the national minimum wage. Therefore, most councillors will have other jobs or income, which means their allowance will end up being taxed and NI'd such that they would receive less than 2/3 of it, if that. While there may be people 'queuing up' to be councillors (really?), a person has to actually get themselves voted in before becoming one. It's a rather daft position to take in any case - or are you suggesting that nurses deserve low pay because plenty of people want to be nurses? Also, loads of young boys want to be pro-footballers, it doesn't mean pro-footballers get paid low salaries, does it? 'Wage', 'salary', 'allowance', 'expenses' - it's all our money going into their pockets, whatever word you want to describe it.[/p][/quote]@channelX your argument is a nonsense - to be a footballer or a nurse you have to have some skill , training and/ or experience. All you have to do to be a councillor is get more votes than anyone else. When you factor in the party system, and the indisputable fact that some wards would vote for a shaved monkey, provided it wears the right colour rosette, it's clear that councillors are not being rewarded for skills, training or experience. Strip out the party system, let's have independents standing on their own merits. Even then, I think they should be reimbursed reasonable costs of doing the job, but not paid an allowance/ wage whatever you want to call it. Standing for office should be voluntary service for the good of the community, in the same way many thousands of other people give freely of their time and effort for other good causes.[/p][/quote]I'll vote for the shaved monkey (or even an unshaven one), it doesn't even have to wear a rosette :-) The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

7:32pm Thu 9 Jan 14

trustnopolitician says...

Swindon has too many councillors and only a few with competence to help run this town. reduce the numbers by 50% .

in 1998/9 councilors were paid a basic £1500 and cost on basic £ 75091.57 and allowances -special responsibility etc travel brought this up to £121580.05

who else has seen their income rise to five times the 1999 level ?

WE have a mayor who will not stand aside whilst allegations against him are investigated, - the Wi Fi exercise wasn't pretty. and many other examples of failure

Why not vote for a honorarium ( with a cap) for councillors when they stand down ,are defeated. or re-elected - this could be easily arranged in conjunction with local election procedures.

In the meantime reimburse any genuine out of pocket expenses.
Swindon has too many councillors and only a few with competence to help run this town. reduce the numbers by 50% . in 1998/9 councilors were paid a basic £1500 and cost on basic £ 75091.57 and allowances -special responsibility etc travel brought this up to £121580.05 who else has seen their income rise to five times the 1999 level ? WE have a mayor who will not stand aside whilst allegations against him are investigated, - the Wi Fi exercise wasn't pretty. and many other examples of failure Why not vote for a honorarium ( with a cap) for councillors when they stand down ,are defeated. or re-elected - this could be easily arranged in conjunction with local election procedures. In the meantime reimburse any genuine out of pocket expenses. trustnopolitician
  • Score: 1

9:26pm Thu 9 Jan 14

MrAngry says...

Stop paying them by BACS and them pick up a cheque each month. That way Cllr Dave Woods would have to visit the civic office at least 12 times a year.
Stop paying them by BACS and them pick up a cheque each month. That way Cllr Dave Woods would have to visit the civic office at least 12 times a year. MrAngry
  • Score: 2

11:02pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Empty Car Park says...

I think many councillors are not worth paying.
With fiascos like the wi-fi and the Whalebridge junction, I reckon Garry Perkins owes money to the taxpayer
I think many councillors are not worth paying. With fiascos like the wi-fi and the Whalebridge junction, I reckon Garry Perkins owes money to the taxpayer Empty Car Park
  • Score: 0

12:23am Fri 10 Jan 14

James Smith Bowser says...

So as the poll stands now the majority of readers think they are paid correctly or they should be paid more.

Interesting result compared to the hammering MPs get around their pay.
So as the poll stands now the majority of readers think they are paid correctly or they should be paid more. Interesting result compared to the hammering MPs get around their pay. James Smith Bowser
  • Score: -3

4:21am Fri 10 Jan 14

John~R says...

I can't vote without a better understanding of what they actually earn in extra allowances for being on committees, etc.

However, fewer councillors would probably help the borough run better. Service doesn't seem to have suffered from stripping out some of the SBC management.
I can't vote without a better understanding of what they actually earn in extra allowances for being on committees, etc. However, fewer councillors would probably help the borough run better. Service doesn't seem to have suffered from stripping out some of the SBC management. John~R
  • Score: 3

8:53am Fri 10 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

BeardyBill wrote:
@channelx it is an indisputable fact that people are queuing up to be councillors.......yo

u tell me the last time a ward in Swindon was uncontested? There are always at least 2 candidates, and generally 3or 4 candidates to choose from.
That's hardly 'queuing up', is it?

I've heard that both Labour and the Tories have had to try fairly hard to persuade people to stand in some wards, and have even ended up putting up people they know would be useless if they won by some chance.
[quote][p][bold]BeardyBill[/bold] wrote: @channelx it is an indisputable fact that people are queuing up to be councillors.......yo u tell me the last time a ward in Swindon was uncontested? There are always at least 2 candidates, and generally 3or 4 candidates to choose from.[/p][/quote]That's hardly 'queuing up', is it? I've heard that both Labour and the Tories have had to try fairly hard to persuade people to stand in some wards, and have even ended up putting up people they know would be useless if they won by some chance. ChannelX
  • Score: 6

9:10am Fri 10 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

@The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man


And yes, of course their time should be accountable - you mean it isn't?!!!


No idea. You'd hope so, but even if it is, who verifies it? Almost impossible to prove either way I'd have thought.
@The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man [quote] And yes, of course their time should be accountable - you mean it isn't?!!! [/quote] No idea. You'd hope so, but even if it is, who verifies it? Almost impossible to prove either way I'd have thought. ChannelX
  • Score: 5

3:19pm Fri 10 Jan 14

trolley dolley says...

If as has been suggested we have fewer councillors and we pay them the rate for a full time job then some rules must apply.

1. There should be a basic education qualification that must be met.
2. The applicants must meet criteria set for the job, this should include ability and previous acceptable employment history.
3. The whole process should be dealt with like any job application.

Then and only then should they be allowed to stand for election.

I wonder how many of our current lot would pass the test.
If as has been suggested we have fewer councillors and we pay them the rate for a full time job then some rules must apply. 1. There should be a basic education qualification that must be met. 2. The applicants must meet criteria set for the job, this should include ability and previous acceptable employment history. 3. The whole process should be dealt with like any job application. Then and only then should they be allowed to stand for election. I wonder how many of our current lot would pass the test. trolley dolley
  • Score: 11

7:03pm Fri 10 Jan 14

BeardyBill says...

ChannelX wrote:
BeardyBill wrote:
@channelx it is an indisputable fact that people are queuing up to be councillors.......yo


u tell me the last time a ward in Swindon was uncontested? There are always at least 2 candidates, and generally 3or 4 candidates to choose from.
That's hardly 'queuing up', is it?

I've heard that both Labour and the Tories have had to try fairly hard to persuade people to stand in some wards, and have even ended up putting up people they know would be useless if they won by some chance.
4 candidates sounds like a queue to me. If what you've heard is true, that reinforces my point about parties being toxic to local democracy. It saddens me that parties will endorse a muppet, and voters will vote for them purely out of some misguided tribalism. Even more reason not to pay them.

Good independents are frozen out of the game not by the level of allowances being unattractive, but by the fact that without party support, you would have to fund your own deposits, leaflets, canvassing etc.....and even then you are at a disadvantage to the shaved monkey wearing the right colour rosette for that particular ward.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BeardyBill[/bold] wrote: @channelx it is an indisputable fact that people are queuing up to be councillors.......yo u tell me the last time a ward in Swindon was uncontested? There are always at least 2 candidates, and generally 3or 4 candidates to choose from.[/p][/quote]That's hardly 'queuing up', is it? I've heard that both Labour and the Tories have had to try fairly hard to persuade people to stand in some wards, and have even ended up putting up people they know would be useless if they won by some chance.[/p][/quote]4 candidates sounds like a queue to me. If what you've heard is true, that reinforces my point about parties being toxic to local democracy. It saddens me that parties will endorse a muppet, and voters will vote for them purely out of some misguided tribalism. Even more reason not to pay them. Good independents are frozen out of the game not by the level of allowances being unattractive, but by the fact that without party support, you would have to fund your own deposits, leaflets, canvassing etc.....and even then you are at a disadvantage to the shaved monkey wearing the right colour rosette for that particular ward. BeardyBill
  • Score: 2

7:00am Sat 11 Jan 14

somwal25 says...

as a former Councillor from many years ago all we got was an attendance allowance based on the length of the meeting you attended, travel allowance depending on mode of transport.NOTE attendance allowance you had to turn up and register that you were at the meeting and if you left before the meeting ended you only got the allowance for the time you were there.some in positions of responsibility received an extra allowance. i can assure you that the amount we received never covered the cost of being a good Councillor.
as a former Councillor from many years ago all we got was an attendance allowance based on the length of the meeting you attended, travel allowance depending on mode of transport.NOTE attendance allowance you had to turn up and register that you were at the meeting and if you left before the meeting ended you only got the allowance for the time you were there.some in positions of responsibility received an extra allowance. i can assure you that the amount we received never covered the cost of being a good Councillor. somwal25
  • Score: 4

1:00pm Sat 11 Jan 14

MrAngry says...

It depends on how hard they work. Nadine Watts - YES. Dave Woods - NO.
It depends on how hard they work. Nadine Watts - YES. Dave Woods - NO. MrAngry
  • Score: 3

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