Wiltshire councillors clash over allowances rise

This Is Wiltshire: Coun Jeff Osborn Coun Jeff Osborn

Wiltshire councillors clashed today in the debate over whether or not to rescind the allowances rise of up to 36 per cent which they awarded themselves.

Council taxpayer Paul Gaunt has organised a petition against the move which has 2,673 signatures, and that was received and noted by today's extraordinary meeting.

Paul Corban, Labour parliamentary candidate for Salisbury, told councillors: "Today you have been gifted an opportunity to defend your position and to say why you feel you need these increases.

"Alternatively you can allow the motion to rescind the decision, accepting you have misjudged the public mood and can regain some face."

Both council leader Jane Scott and Jon Hubbard, Lib Dem leader, have both spoken against rescinding the decision, with Coun Hubbard defending his rise.  

Coun Scott has already said that she will not take the increase.

Coun Jeff Osborn said: "It seemed the leader had a long hard night of the soul, but is has to be asked why it took an FoI (by the Gazette) to get this out in the open, especially when she was telling (government minister) Eric Pickles she would stick to her guns.

"It was without doubt the right decision, it is the correct moral decision."

Coun Ricky Rogers said: "I don't know a single item in 25 years that has caused such unrest in my community.

"It has caused public concern and we all need to recognise that.
I don't think anybody should be able to come here and be out of pocket, but there is a balance and this is out of balance

Coun Jon Hubbard said: "In November I voted against the pay rises. I felt there were significant elements of that report that were not fair.

"Today I am not going to vote to rescind it. To rescind a decision is to say the basis on which we made that decision was unsound.

"I am a net beneficiary from this increase ibecause I am chair of two committees of this council.

"I work on average somewhere between 50 and 55 hours per week. I am in council three days a week from 8.30am to 6.30am, and I spend weekends out in my ward with my constituents.

"All this I do as a councillor and I do it with pleasure.

"We should be giving the opportunity for younger members of our community to earn enough money to live on.

"It's scandalous that I am the second or third youngest person on this council, and I am 33.

"Let us have a system that enables people if they chose to give up their career and spend time on council, to earn enough money to be able to do that.

Coun Chris Devine said: "Jeff Osborn says this is not personal. He has put forward something he knows he can't win.

"Jeff is a good guy in scrutiny but he has no value outside of that...that's what he is, a ruddy nuisance.

"Jeff, I am sick to death of your sanctimonious humbug.

I know what Jeff is, he's a moonraker; he sees the moon in the water and he can't get it through his head that it's unobtainable.

"I voted for the increase and I will vote for it again. I am proud of this council.

"We are worth it, we do a damn good job. I am a councillor, this is what I do and I love it."

Coun Howard Greenman said: "I was speaking to a constituent of mine about the leader who said 'there is not a hope in hell anyone would do her job for what she gets'."

Coun Hubbard interrupted: "I would!"

Comments (25)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:51pm Tue 4 Feb 14

frankie007 says...

Democracy in action. The opinions of 2673 members of the electorate received, noted AND COMPLETELT IGNORED by today's extraordinary meeting.
Where everybody matters.
Government of the people by the people for the people.
Does anybody believe this cr@p anymore?
Democracy in action. The opinions of 2673 members of the electorate received, noted AND COMPLETELT IGNORED by today's extraordinary meeting. Where everybody matters. Government of the people by the people for the people. Does anybody believe this cr@p anymore? frankie007
  • Score: 7

2:14pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Richard Clewer says...

I am not sure that is what happened. The views of 0.5% of the population calling on the Leader of the Council and her Cabinet to resign was not listened to. You could argue that was democracy in action.

There was an interesting, if at times heated, debate. I would point out here the point I made in the Council Chamber. As a Councillor and Portfolio Holder I was paid under the minimum wage for the work I do. I am also not allowed to join the Council Pension scheme. With the recent rise I will now get just over the minimum wage although still well under the living wage we have heard so much about from Cllr Osborne and others.

If we want younger people and by that I mean those under 60, to stand as Councillors we have got to pay them enough to at least enable them to cover the basic costs of living. Otherwise we will only see those who are retired, independently wealthy or able not to work standing for Council. That is certainly not representative democracy in action.
I am not sure that is what happened. The views of 0.5% of the population calling on the Leader of the Council and her Cabinet to resign was not listened to. You could argue that was democracy in action. There was an interesting, if at times heated, debate. I would point out here the point I made in the Council Chamber. As a Councillor and Portfolio Holder I was paid under the minimum wage for the work I do. I am also not allowed to join the Council Pension scheme. With the recent rise I will now get just over the minimum wage although still well under the living wage we have heard so much about from Cllr Osborne and others. If we want younger people and by that I mean those under 60, to stand as Councillors we have got to pay them enough to at least enable them to cover the basic costs of living. Otherwise we will only see those who are retired, independently wealthy or able not to work standing for Council. That is certainly not representative democracy in action. Richard Clewer
  • Score: -9

2:27pm Tue 4 Feb 14

brasstacks says...

Dear Cllr Chris Devine,

I am sick to death of your Chosen Political Party financially pillaging our County..

I think what you have said about Jeff Osborne IS appalling, rude and a typically example of YOUR inability to be polite to anyone UNLESS they are Conservative.....

There ARE many People in Wiltshire who are HONOURED to be a Moonraker and perhaps if your Conservative Party got its head out of its own "pool", it might see that...the Real People in Wiltshire are NO LONGER prepared to put up with the "Cons Sharks" who have circled us all for far too long......

Poor Jon Hubbard may work long hours and "love his role" but...the Issue was NEVER totally about if Councillors were 'due a pay rise" other than IF the "Regs" say they might have entitlement to it.....

To TAKE any Allowance Rise like Ms Scott DID take at a time when she had ALREADY got rid of the Staff that keep our County going, IS AND WAS the Issue.....

Ms Scott and her "Cons-Cab" REMAINS the problem and until we challenge EXACTLY what she has been spending Tax Payers money on, she will sit in her "ivory tower"...
Dear Cllr Chris Devine, I am sick to death of your Chosen Political Party financially pillaging our County.. I think what you have said about Jeff Osborne IS appalling, rude and a typically example of YOUR inability to be polite to anyone UNLESS they are Conservative..... There ARE many People in Wiltshire who are HONOURED to be a Moonraker and perhaps if your Conservative Party got its head out of its own "pool", it might see that...the Real People in Wiltshire are NO LONGER prepared to put up with the "Cons Sharks" who have circled us all for far too long...... Poor Jon Hubbard may work long hours and "love his role" but...the Issue was NEVER totally about if Councillors were 'due a pay rise" other than IF the "Regs" say they might have entitlement to it..... To TAKE any Allowance Rise like Ms Scott DID take at a time when she had ALREADY got rid of the Staff that keep our County going, IS AND WAS the Issue..... Ms Scott and her "Cons-Cab" REMAINS the problem and until we challenge EXACTLY what she has been spending Tax Payers money on, she will sit in her "ivory tower"... brasstacks
  • Score: 15

2:35pm Tue 4 Feb 14

€d says...

frankie007 wrote:
Democracy in action. The opinions of 2673 members of the electorate received, noted AND COMPLETELT IGNORED by today's extraordinary meeting.
Where everybody matters.
Government of the people by the people for the people.
Does anybody believe this cr@p anymore?
See how they get on at election time. That is where democracy will work and those that voted for the rise will be out of a job.
[quote][p][bold]frankie007[/bold] wrote: Democracy in action. The opinions of 2673 members of the electorate received, noted AND COMPLETELT IGNORED by today's extraordinary meeting. Where everybody matters. Government of the people by the people for the people. Does anybody believe this cr@p anymore?[/p][/quote]See how they get on at election time. That is where democracy will work and those that voted for the rise will be out of a job. €d
  • Score: 13

2:50pm Tue 4 Feb 14

brasstacks says...

Dear Richard Clewer,

None of us are forcing Councillors to be Councillors other than by Voting for them (or not..) in an Election.....

Councillors are paid an Allowance and NOT a Wage so if they do not think what they get is "enough", then they should LEAVE.....

The National Minimum Wage is an insult to anyone who works given that out of the Taxes we pay, we ARE Funding the Conservatives to live in an "Allowance Lifestyle" that few of us could ever achieve unless we win the Lottery......

I do not think that The Equality Act 2010 would allow us to say that Councillors 'have to be below a certain age" !!....

Bit of a shame in an odd sort of way considering that virtually every day, Wiltshire Council questionably BREACH Residents and the REAL Staff's Human Rights ??!!......

I doubt very much that "Younger People" are going to be remotely interested in becoming a Councillor if the SAME Council have taken away their Youth Clubs, Swimming Pools, Libraries and...quite possible their Families & Freinds Jobs if they worked at W/C etc ??.....

By the way....it should NOT matter how many People Sign ANY Petition presented to W/C.......

After all, Ms Scott and her "Cons-Cab" CONSISTENTLY ignore Surveys and NEVER LISTEN when Residents ask for help with Services ??....

The People of Wiltshire are NOT "percentages" and...until we are all treated like Human Beings, then Ms Scott and Co will have won........(ish...).
..

Wiltshire Council SHOULD be a Public Service and has NOT been for far too long now.....

Go gracefully please Ms Scott and enjoy your "senior moments" AWAY from County Hall.....

The "Senior moments" for the rest of us of a similar age to you are a NIGHTMARE.......
Dear Richard Clewer, None of us are forcing Councillors to be Councillors other than by Voting for them (or not..) in an Election..... Councillors are paid an Allowance and NOT a Wage so if they do not think what they get is "enough", then they should LEAVE..... The National Minimum Wage is an insult to anyone who works given that out of the Taxes we pay, we ARE Funding the Conservatives to live in an "Allowance Lifestyle" that few of us could ever achieve unless we win the Lottery...... I do not think that The Equality Act 2010 would allow us to say that Councillors 'have to be below a certain age" !!.... Bit of a shame in an odd sort of way considering that virtually every day, Wiltshire Council questionably BREACH Residents and the REAL Staff's Human Rights ??!!...... I doubt very much that "Younger People" are going to be remotely interested in becoming a Councillor if the SAME Council have taken away their Youth Clubs, Swimming Pools, Libraries and...quite possible their Families & Freinds Jobs if they worked at W/C etc ??..... By the way....it should NOT matter how many People Sign ANY Petition presented to W/C....... After all, Ms Scott and her "Cons-Cab" CONSISTENTLY ignore Surveys and NEVER LISTEN when Residents ask for help with Services ??.... The People of Wiltshire are NOT "percentages" and...until we are all treated like Human Beings, then Ms Scott and Co will have won........(ish...). .. Wiltshire Council SHOULD be a Public Service and has NOT been for far too long now..... Go gracefully please Ms Scott and enjoy your "senior moments" AWAY from County Hall..... The "Senior moments" for the rest of us of a similar age to you are a NIGHTMARE....... brasstacks
  • Score: 15

3:50pm Tue 4 Feb 14

frankie007 says...

Richard Clewer wrote:
I am not sure that is what happened. The views of 0.5% of the population calling on the Leader of the Council and her Cabinet to resign was not listened to. You could argue that was democracy in action.

There was an interesting, if at times heated, debate. I would point out here the point I made in the Council Chamber. As a Councillor and Portfolio Holder I was paid under the minimum wage for the work I do. I am also not allowed to join the Council Pension scheme. With the recent rise I will now get just over the minimum wage although still well under the living wage we have heard so much about from Cllr Osborne and others.

If we want younger people and by that I mean those under 60, to stand as Councillors we have got to pay them enough to at least enable them to cover the basic costs of living. Otherwise we will only see those who are retired, independently wealthy or able not to work standing for Council. That is certainly not representative democracy in action.
Compared to the number of people calling on them not to, 0.5% would seem like a sizeable majority.

Isn't it the number of people who actually vote that count?
[quote][p][bold]Richard Clewer[/bold] wrote: I am not sure that is what happened. The views of 0.5% of the population calling on the Leader of the Council and her Cabinet to resign was not listened to. You could argue that was democracy in action. There was an interesting, if at times heated, debate. I would point out here the point I made in the Council Chamber. As a Councillor and Portfolio Holder I was paid under the minimum wage for the work I do. I am also not allowed to join the Council Pension scheme. With the recent rise I will now get just over the minimum wage although still well under the living wage we have heard so much about from Cllr Osborne and others. If we want younger people and by that I mean those under 60, to stand as Councillors we have got to pay them enough to at least enable them to cover the basic costs of living. Otherwise we will only see those who are retired, independently wealthy or able not to work standing for Council. That is certainly not representative democracy in action.[/p][/quote]Compared to the number of people calling on them not to, 0.5% would seem like a sizeable majority. Isn't it the number of people who actually vote that count? frankie007
  • Score: 8

6:05pm Tue 4 Feb 14

e coli says...

""I voted for the increase and I will vote for it again. I am proud of this council.

"We are worth it, we do a **** good job. I am a councillor, this is what I do and I love it."

Lots of people do a good job, and are worth more, far more. But they cannot vote themselves a huge rise.

These councillors are beneath contempt.
""I voted for the increase and I will vote for it again. I am proud of this council. "We are worth it, we do a **** good job. I am a councillor, this is what I do and I love it." Lots of people do a good job, and are worth more, far more. But they cannot vote themselves a huge rise. These councillors are beneath contempt. e coli
  • Score: 17

6:22pm Tue 4 Feb 14

brandx says...

Seems to me that certain people don't actualloy understand the Moonraker story.

The Moonrakers conned the excise men by saying they were raking the pond for the moon, but in reality they were after their smuggled spirits and once they had conned the exise men and saw them off, they carried on raking and got.the spirits and enjoyed themselves.

If I was Jeff Osborn, I would be proud to be called a Moonraker.

The problem today is that the Conservative Cabal is conning the Wiltshire population and jacking up their own council allowances and laughing all the way to the bank. At least now, thanks to the Wiltshire Times, we know who voted which way. We will remember..
Seems to me that certain people don't actualloy understand the Moonraker story. The Moonrakers conned the excise men by saying they were raking the pond for the moon, but in reality they were after their smuggled spirits and once they had conned the exise men and saw them off, they carried on raking and got.the spirits and enjoyed themselves. If I was Jeff Osborn, I would be proud to be called a Moonraker. The problem today is that the Conservative Cabal is conning the Wiltshire population and jacking up their own council allowances and laughing all the way to the bank. At least now, thanks to the Wiltshire Times, we know who voted which way. We will remember.. brandx
  • Score: 14

7:09pm Tue 4 Feb 14

frankie007 says...

I see the lodge working their magic again. This not showing on the most commented.
Has no one got the b@lls to stand up to that woman & her puppets?
I see the lodge working their magic again. This not showing on the most commented. Has no one got the b@lls to stand up to that woman & her puppets? frankie007
  • Score: 9

7:31pm Tue 4 Feb 14

IanMcL says...

"As a Councillor and Portfolio Holder I was paid under the minimum wage for the work I do"

1. You are not paid for the work you do - you receive an allowance to cover basic costs.

2. You chose to stand (again), knowing the allowances paid.

3. It is a privilege to serve one own community

4. We are all but a vote away from being 'Ex Cllrs'

1% across the piece would have been fine - just like the paid staff.

Solidarity all round.
"As a Councillor and Portfolio Holder I was paid under the minimum wage for the work I do" 1. You are not paid for the work you do - you receive an allowance to cover basic costs. 2. You chose to stand (again), knowing the allowances paid. 3. It is a privilege to serve one own community 4. We are all but a vote away from being 'Ex Cllrs' 1% across the piece would have been fine - just like the paid staff. Solidarity all round. IanMcL
  • Score: 20

7:38pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Rackwell says...

"We are worth it, we do a **** good job. I am a councillor, this is what I do and I love it."

I work for the council, I also do a **** good job, and I got a paltry £200 per year rise, the first rise for 5 years.

So the councillors are saying that they are worth thousands in increases, and I am only worth £200. Wiltshire Council, where everybody matters? Thank you Councillor Chris Devine, with that one comment above you have made me as a Council employee feel totally worthless.
"We are worth it, we do a **** good job. I am a councillor, this is what I do and I love it." I work for the council, I also do a **** good job, and I got a paltry £200 per year rise, the first rise for 5 years. So the councillors are saying that they are worth thousands in increases, and I am only worth £200. Wiltshire Council, where everybody matters? Thank you Councillor Chris Devine, with that one comment above you have made me as a Council employee feel totally worthless. Rackwell
  • Score: 16

7:41pm Tue 4 Feb 14

VelcroEd says...

Having attended the meeting this morning my observation is that it was a shameful example of local democracy in action.

Firstly the two people who spoke on behalf of the petition were barracked by members of the Conservative group in a move more akin to Prime Minister's Question Time than local democracy..... This from a Council who is actively trying to encourage public participation.

Then came an action that made me sick to the stomach. An elderly lady was making a public statement on the proposed new motorway junction. She was struggling to hold a microphone and her notes. When she asked for somewhere to put her paper down she was met with a groan from one Councillor and a "no" from another. I then noticed the Councillor who loudly said no roughly try to brush her notes away as she tried to put them down on the ledge behind his seat. Fortunately Councillor Payne who was sat next to the offending Councillor realised that this was being observed by several members of the public and offered the lady the use of her seat.

Later on in the meeting we were forced to listen to an attack on the character of Jeff Osborn by Chris Devine. Had this happened in any usual workplace I would have made a formal complaint of bullying. I felt truly ashamed to be witnessing such an event.

If the behavior displayed by the ruling group today is illustrative of local democracy in action then I have absolutely no confidence in their ability to deliver the promise to make Wiltshire the place where everybody matters.
Having attended the meeting this morning my observation is that it was a shameful example of local democracy in action. Firstly the two people who spoke on behalf of the petition were barracked by members of the Conservative group in a move more akin to Prime Minister's Question Time than local democracy..... This from a Council who is actively trying to encourage public participation. Then came an action that made me sick to the stomach. An elderly lady was making a public statement on the proposed new motorway junction. She was struggling to hold a microphone and her notes. When she asked for somewhere to put her paper down she was met with a groan from one Councillor and a "no" from another. I then noticed the Councillor who loudly said no roughly try to brush her notes away as she tried to put them down on the ledge behind his seat. Fortunately Councillor Payne who was sat next to the offending Councillor realised that this was being observed by several members of the public and offered the lady the use of her seat. Later on in the meeting we were forced to listen to an attack on the character of Jeff Osborn by Chris Devine. Had this happened in any usual workplace I would have made a formal complaint of bullying. I felt truly ashamed to be witnessing such an event. If the behavior displayed by the ruling group today is illustrative of local democracy in action then I have absolutely no confidence in their ability to deliver the promise to make Wiltshire the place where everybody matters. VelcroEd
  • Score: 22

7:51pm Tue 4 Feb 14

gingin says...

Richard Clewer wrote:
I am not sure that is what happened. The views of 0.5% of the population calling on the Leader of the Council and her Cabinet to resign was not listened to. You could argue that was democracy in action.

There was an interesting, if at times heated, debate. I would point out here the point I made in the Council Chamber. As a Councillor and Portfolio Holder I was paid under the minimum wage for the work I do. I am also not allowed to join the Council Pension scheme. With the recent rise I will now get just over the minimum wage although still well under the living wage we have heard so much about from Cllr Osborne and others.

If we want younger people and by that I mean those under 60, to stand as Councillors we have got to pay them enough to at least enable them to cover the basic costs of living. Otherwise we will only see those who are retired, independently wealthy or able not to work standing for Council. That is certainly not representative democracy in action.
Hello Richard> seems as if we clash on here as well as Salisbury Journal.

Councillors confuse what they do as a job, it isn't a job so you receive an allowance not a wage. No denying a lot of Councillors put in many many hours but it is still your choice to stand for election or not and walk away if conditions do not suit although it would be best to wait until end of term.

What surprised me when reading Wiltshire Times report was the rudeness of Chris Devine.

Some comments accuse Councillors of not caring about the people in their divisions, I find that a bit insulting to the ones I know who work tirelessly to gain what is best for their people.
[quote][p][bold]Richard Clewer[/bold] wrote: I am not sure that is what happened. The views of 0.5% of the population calling on the Leader of the Council and her Cabinet to resign was not listened to. You could argue that was democracy in action. There was an interesting, if at times heated, debate. I would point out here the point I made in the Council Chamber. As a Councillor and Portfolio Holder I was paid under the minimum wage for the work I do. I am also not allowed to join the Council Pension scheme. With the recent rise I will now get just over the minimum wage although still well under the living wage we have heard so much about from Cllr Osborne and others. If we want younger people and by that I mean those under 60, to stand as Councillors we have got to pay them enough to at least enable them to cover the basic costs of living. Otherwise we will only see those who are retired, independently wealthy or able not to work standing for Council. That is certainly not representative democracy in action.[/p][/quote]Hello Richard> seems as if we clash on here as well as Salisbury Journal. Councillors confuse what they do as a job, it isn't a job so you receive an allowance not a wage. No denying a lot of Councillors put in many many hours but it is still your choice to stand for election or not and walk away if conditions do not suit although it would be best to wait until end of term. What surprised me when reading Wiltshire Times report was the rudeness of Chris Devine. Some comments accuse Councillors of not caring about the people in their divisions, I find that a bit insulting to the ones I know who work tirelessly to gain what is best for their people. gingin
  • Score: 10

8:24pm Tue 4 Feb 14

politepanda says...

"""I am not sure that is what happened. The views of 0.5% of the population calling on the Leader of the Council and her Cabinet to resign was not listened to. You could argue that was democracy in action."""
Richard Clewless - JS and her ilk don't represent the entire nation - not even Wiltshire in it's entirety.
Can't wait for the next elections.
"""I am not sure that is what happened. The views of 0.5% of the population calling on the Leader of the Council and her Cabinet to resign was not listened to. You could argue that was democracy in action.""" Richard Clewless - JS and her ilk don't represent the entire nation - not even Wiltshire in it's entirety. Can't wait for the next elections. politepanda
  • Score: 7

9:29pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Morello says...

Richard Clewer wrote:
I am not sure that is what happened. The views of 0.5% of the population calling on the Leader of the Council and her Cabinet to resign was not listened to. You could argue that was democracy in action. There was an interesting, if at times heated, debate. I would point out here the point I made in the Council Chamber. As a Councillor and Portfolio Holder I was paid under the minimum wage for the work I do. I am also not allowed to join the Council Pension scheme. With the recent rise I will now get just over the minimum wage although still well under the living wage we have heard so much about from Cllr Osborne and others. If we want younger people and by that I mean those under 60, to stand as Councillors we have got to pay them enough to at least enable them to cover the basic costs of living. Otherwise we will only see those who are retired, independently wealthy or able not to work standing for Council. That is certainly not representative democracy in action.
Richard Clewer is a councillor. He's a councillor. He was elected to be a councillor.

I wonder when he will understand that he's a councillor.
[quote][p][bold]Richard Clewer[/bold] wrote: I am not sure that is what happened. The views of 0.5% of the population calling on the Leader of the Council and her Cabinet to resign was not listened to. You could argue that was democracy in action. There was an interesting, if at times heated, debate. I would point out here the point I made in the Council Chamber. As a Councillor and Portfolio Holder I was paid under the minimum wage for the work I do. I am also not allowed to join the Council Pension scheme. With the recent rise I will now get just over the minimum wage although still well under the living wage we have heard so much about from Cllr Osborne and others. If we want younger people and by that I mean those under 60, to stand as Councillors we have got to pay them enough to at least enable them to cover the basic costs of living. Otherwise we will only see those who are retired, independently wealthy or able not to work standing for Council. That is certainly not representative democracy in action.[/p][/quote]Richard Clewer is a councillor. He's a councillor. He was elected to be a councillor. I wonder when he will understand that he's a councillor. Morello
  • Score: 6

10:10pm Tue 4 Feb 14

frankie007 says...

Morello wrote:
Richard Clewer wrote:
I am not sure that is what happened. The views of 0.5% of the population calling on the Leader of the Council and her Cabinet to resign was not listened to. You could argue that was democracy in action. There was an interesting, if at times heated, debate. I would point out here the point I made in the Council Chamber. As a Councillor and Portfolio Holder I was paid under the minimum wage for the work I do. I am also not allowed to join the Council Pension scheme. With the recent rise I will now get just over the minimum wage although still well under the living wage we have heard so much about from Cllr Osborne and others. If we want younger people and by that I mean those under 60, to stand as Councillors we have got to pay them enough to at least enable them to cover the basic costs of living. Otherwise we will only see those who are retired, independently wealthy or able not to work standing for Council. That is certainly not representative democracy in action.
Richard Clewer is a councillor. He's a councillor. He was elected to be a councillor.

I wonder when he will understand that he's a councillor.
Hopefully he will soon understand that he used to be a councillor
[quote][p][bold]Morello[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Richard Clewer[/bold] wrote: I am not sure that is what happened. The views of 0.5% of the population calling on the Leader of the Council and her Cabinet to resign was not listened to. You could argue that was democracy in action. There was an interesting, if at times heated, debate. I would point out here the point I made in the Council Chamber. As a Councillor and Portfolio Holder I was paid under the minimum wage for the work I do. I am also not allowed to join the Council Pension scheme. With the recent rise I will now get just over the minimum wage although still well under the living wage we have heard so much about from Cllr Osborne and others. If we want younger people and by that I mean those under 60, to stand as Councillors we have got to pay them enough to at least enable them to cover the basic costs of living. Otherwise we will only see those who are retired, independently wealthy or able not to work standing for Council. That is certainly not representative democracy in action.[/p][/quote]Richard Clewer is a councillor. He's a councillor. He was elected to be a councillor. I wonder when he will understand that he's a councillor.[/p][/quote]Hopefully he will soon understand that he used to be a councillor frankie007
  • Score: 11

10:59am Wed 5 Feb 14

Richard Clewer says...

People often raise the question of allowances. The allowances are paid as a salary with PAYE and National Insurance deducted. If they were truely an allowance they would be paid and then tax would be resolved through an anual tax return.

The minimum wage is law in our country, a good thing. The living wage also makes sense although there is debate over the level it should be set at.

I would have thought the left wing of politics would support the priniciple that everyone should be paid the minimum wage. I would also think that the Unions should support the principle that all Council staff should have access to the Council pension scheme. For some reason however it seems to be the policy of the left wing in Wiltshire that everyone apart from Conservative Councillors should get those protections but for a reason I can't comprehend Conservatives should not.

If you think it is correct to describe working for less than the minimum wage with no pension as having a snout in the trough I would disagree.

I think that Councillors do need to be recompensed for the work they put in, otherwise you will only have retired or independently wealthy Councillors. Is that what you want? I think it needs to be open to anyone. Being a Councillor should not pay huge amounts of money but £19,000 a year for 55 hours a week is not a huge amount of pay.

In Wiltshire we (as Conservative Councillors) have delivered no increase in Council Tax (or the Wiltshire Council part of it anyway, Parish Councils make their own decisions) in the last 5 years while retaining service delivery in the face of a 35% reduction in our government grant. Something that our neighbouring Councils have not been able to achieve. Would we have had the quality of Councillors to achieve that if there was no remuneration for the role? I doubt it, I certainly could not afford to be a Councillor without the remuneration I get.
People often raise the question of allowances. The allowances are paid as a salary with PAYE and National Insurance deducted. If they were truely an allowance they would be paid and then tax would be resolved through an anual tax return. The minimum wage is law in our country, a good thing. The living wage also makes sense although there is debate over the level it should be set at. I would have thought the left wing of politics would support the priniciple that everyone should be paid the minimum wage. I would also think that the Unions should support the principle that all Council staff should have access to the Council pension scheme. For some reason however it seems to be the policy of the left wing in Wiltshire that everyone apart from Conservative Councillors should get those protections but for a reason I can't comprehend Conservatives should not. If you think it is correct to describe working for less than the minimum wage with no pension as having a snout in the trough I would disagree. I think that Councillors do need to be recompensed for the work they put in, otherwise you will only have retired or independently wealthy Councillors. Is that what you want? I think it needs to be open to anyone. Being a Councillor should not pay huge amounts of money but £19,000 a year for 55 hours a week is not a huge amount of pay. In Wiltshire we (as Conservative Councillors) have delivered no increase in Council Tax (or the Wiltshire Council part of it anyway, Parish Councils make their own decisions) in the last 5 years while retaining service delivery in the face of a 35% reduction in our government grant. Something that our neighbouring Councils have not been able to achieve. Would we have had the quality of Councillors to achieve that if there was no remuneration for the role? I doubt it, I certainly could not afford to be a Councillor without the remuneration I get. Richard Clewer
  • Score: -11

12:15pm Wed 5 Feb 14

WiltsCanary1972 says...

Dear Mr Clewer

Please think about what you are saying before you blurt out your comments.

The people who work out your allowances ensure that you do not need to do tax returns by sorting out PAYE and NI before they pay you so that is one less thing for you to worry about - you are clearly very busy so you should be grateful you don't have to worry about tax returns.

My mother worked tirelessly as a Councillor at Town, District and County level for many many years before her death and never did she act as if her allowance was a GIVEN and that she must receive it to do her role.

I accept that it would be difficult to do the work of a councillor without the allowance BUT no one is saying that you should not get it - the issue is over the increase that you have voted to give yourselves.

The people that keep the council running (this is not you are your fellow councillors) every day working very hard have had ONE pay rise in 5 years. This was a measly 1 % which has made very little impact on how easy their day to day life is. For the record I am one of these people.

I am sick and tired of your comments making me feel like your importance is so much greater than mine or my colleagues who work very hard keeping the council running, some of the fielding calls ALL DAY long trying to apease YOUR electorate and explain why their street lights have not been fixed, why their damaged bins have not been replaced, why we can't come out NOW to clear a blocked drain.

I didn't hear you say anything about the staff who worked on the 25th Decmeber to ensure that as much of the councils roads were clear for people to celebrate this day with their loved ones.

Maybe now is the time to change your line and accept that people will be upset about this increase and start being a bit more understanding of how these decisions make YOUR electorate feel.
Dear Mr Clewer Please think about what you are saying before you blurt out your comments. The people who work out your allowances ensure that you do not need to do tax returns by sorting out PAYE and NI before they pay you so that is one less thing for you to worry about - you are clearly very busy so you should be grateful you don't have to worry about tax returns. My mother worked tirelessly as a Councillor at Town, District and County level for many many years before her death and never did she act as if her allowance was a GIVEN and that she must receive it to do her role. I accept that it would be difficult to do the work of a councillor without the allowance BUT no one is saying that you should not get it - the issue is over the increase that you have voted to give yourselves. The people that keep the council running (this is not you are your fellow councillors) every day working very hard have had ONE pay rise in 5 years. This was a measly 1 % which has made very little impact on how easy their day to day life is. For the record I am one of these people. I am sick and tired of your comments making me feel like your importance is so much greater than mine or my colleagues who work very hard keeping the council running, some of the fielding calls ALL DAY long trying to apease YOUR electorate and explain why their street lights have not been fixed, why their damaged bins have not been replaced, why we can't come out NOW to clear a blocked drain. I didn't hear you say anything about the staff who worked on the 25th Decmeber to ensure that as much of the councils roads were clear for people to celebrate this day with their loved ones. Maybe now is the time to change your line and accept that people will be upset about this increase and start being a bit more understanding of how these decisions make YOUR electorate feel. WiltsCanary1972
  • Score: 15

2:53pm Wed 5 Feb 14

shed says...

I have always believed that people who stand for election as local councillors did on a voluntary basis for public good, if I had known that it was for a salary I'd have stood for election myself; certainty these expenses/salary pay more than I ever earned.

Maybe I am just naive.

While I have no objection to anyone claiming expenses for outlay involved in being a councillor, what on earth does any one spend £1000 per week on in expenses.
People keep families on far less than that

I also note that on the latest published expense one of the highest claimants is a local publican running a successful pub, he runs a nice new Mercedes too.


This set of greedy types we have in place remind me of Animal Farm, some pigs being more equal than other.

Its good to see that there are replies from councillors in these comments, it show that not only do some of them read them, but that the whole affair has got them well rattled.
Good, it will not be forgotten by us for , at the going down of the next election slips, we WILL remember them.

Ukip will be dancing in the streets at this fiasco.
I have always believed that people who stand for election as local councillors did on a voluntary basis for public good, if I had known that it was for a salary I'd have stood for election myself; certainty these expenses/salary pay more than I ever earned. Maybe I am just naive. While I have no objection to anyone claiming expenses for outlay involved in being a councillor, what on earth does any one spend £1000 per week on in expenses. People keep families on far less than that I also note that on the latest published expense one of the highest claimants is a local publican running a successful pub, he runs a nice new Mercedes too. This set of greedy types we have in place remind me of Animal Farm, some pigs being more equal than other. Its good to see that there are replies from councillors in these comments, it show that not only do some of them read them, but that the whole affair has got them well rattled. Good, it will not be forgotten by us for , at the going down of the next election slips, we WILL remember them. Ukip will be dancing in the streets at this fiasco. shed
  • Score: 1

3:12pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Morello says...

The conspiracy theory would say that these councillors know full well that they have volunteered to stand for election in order to serve their community and that the pretence of being employed by the council is just a debating ploy.

Of course they know the structure of local government and their role in it. Allowances was just a tempting prize that they couldn't resist.

Certain events live long and take their place in history. British Gas snouts in the trough, Tory sleaze, Ratner selling cr*p, bankers' bonuses and locally this catastrophic mis-management is likely to have its fatal effects - unless the fools can come up with a scandal to top it.
The conspiracy theory would say that these councillors know full well that they have volunteered to stand for election in order to serve their community and that the pretence of being employed by the council is just a debating ploy. Of course they know the structure of local government and their role in it. Allowances was just a tempting prize that they couldn't resist. Certain events live long and take their place in history. British Gas snouts in the trough, Tory sleaze, Ratner selling cr*p, bankers' bonuses and locally this catastrophic mis-management is likely to have its fatal effects - unless the fools can come up with a scandal to top it. Morello
  • Score: 3

6:03pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Scarabdriver says...

Richard Clewer wrote:
People often raise the question of allowances. The allowances are paid as a salary with PAYE and National Insurance deducted. If they were truely an allowance they would be paid and then tax would be resolved through an anual tax return.

The minimum wage is law in our country, a good thing. The living wage also makes sense although there is debate over the level it should be set at.

I would have thought the left wing of politics would support the priniciple that everyone should be paid the minimum wage. I would also think that the Unions should support the principle that all Council staff should have access to the Council pension scheme. For some reason however it seems to be the policy of the left wing in Wiltshire that everyone apart from Conservative Councillors should get those protections but for a reason I can't comprehend Conservatives should not.

If you think it is correct to describe working for less than the minimum wage with no pension as having a snout in the trough I would disagree.

I think that Councillors do need to be recompensed for the work they put in, otherwise you will only have retired or independently wealthy Councillors. Is that what you want? I think it needs to be open to anyone. Being a Councillor should not pay huge amounts of money but £19,000 a year for 55 hours a week is not a huge amount of pay.

In Wiltshire we (as Conservative Councillors) have delivered no increase in Council Tax (or the Wiltshire Council part of it anyway, Parish Councils make their own decisions) in the last 5 years while retaining service delivery in the face of a 35% reduction in our government grant. Something that our neighbouring Councils have not been able to achieve. Would we have had the quality of Councillors to achieve that if there was no remuneration for the role? I doubt it, I certainly could not afford to be a Councillor without the remuneration I get.
So Mr Clewer feels he should be treated the same as a Wiltshire Council employee? If he had a clue as to the conditions which real people within the council have to work under he would know that Wiltshire Council follows European legislation preventing employees from working more than 48 hours per week. (The working time directive) therefore they cannot work 55 hours a week as he claims to.
It is also interesting that WC own members allowances list obtainable by a simple web search lists Mr Clewer as receiving £20,377,39 for the year 2011-2012. National minimum wage for 2011 was £6.08 and £6.19 for 2012 so even if he did work 55 hours every week throughout the year he was paid over minimum wage (approx. £7.13) One last point several hundred former WC employees will NEVER claim their full pension because they lost their jobs! so if Mr Clewer is an example of the cream of the crop Conservative councillor then yes, retired, independently wealthy or maybe just a representative with a social conscience will do nicely thank you....
[quote][p][bold]Richard Clewer[/bold] wrote: People often raise the question of allowances. The allowances are paid as a salary with PAYE and National Insurance deducted. If they were truely an allowance they would be paid and then tax would be resolved through an anual tax return. The minimum wage is law in our country, a good thing. The living wage also makes sense although there is debate over the level it should be set at. I would have thought the left wing of politics would support the priniciple that everyone should be paid the minimum wage. I would also think that the Unions should support the principle that all Council staff should have access to the Council pension scheme. For some reason however it seems to be the policy of the left wing in Wiltshire that everyone apart from Conservative Councillors should get those protections but for a reason I can't comprehend Conservatives should not. If you think it is correct to describe working for less than the minimum wage with no pension as having a snout in the trough I would disagree. I think that Councillors do need to be recompensed for the work they put in, otherwise you will only have retired or independently wealthy Councillors. Is that what you want? I think it needs to be open to anyone. Being a Councillor should not pay huge amounts of money but £19,000 a year for 55 hours a week is not a huge amount of pay. In Wiltshire we (as Conservative Councillors) have delivered no increase in Council Tax (or the Wiltshire Council part of it anyway, Parish Councils make their own decisions) in the last 5 years while retaining service delivery in the face of a 35% reduction in our government grant. Something that our neighbouring Councils have not been able to achieve. Would we have had the quality of Councillors to achieve that if there was no remuneration for the role? I doubt it, I certainly could not afford to be a Councillor without the remuneration I get.[/p][/quote]So Mr Clewer feels he should be treated the same as a Wiltshire Council employee? If he had a clue as to the conditions which real people within the council have to work under he would know that Wiltshire Council follows European legislation preventing employees from working more than 48 hours per week. (The working time directive) therefore they cannot work 55 hours a week as he claims to. It is also interesting that WC own members allowances list obtainable by a simple web search lists Mr Clewer as receiving £20,377,39 for the year 2011-2012. National minimum wage for 2011 was £6.08 and £6.19 for 2012 so even if he did work 55 hours every week throughout the year he was paid over minimum wage (approx. £7.13) One last point several hundred former WC employees will NEVER claim their full pension because they lost their jobs! so if Mr Clewer is an example of the cream of the crop Conservative councillor then yes, retired, independently wealthy or maybe just a representative with a social conscience will do nicely thank you.... Scarabdriver
  • Score: 6

10:31am Fri 7 Feb 14

artiprod says...

shed wrote:
I have always believed that people who stand for election as local councillors did on a voluntary basis for public good, if I had known that it was for a salary I'd have stood for election myself; certainty these expenses/salary pay more than I ever earned.

Maybe I am just naive.

While I have no objection to anyone claiming expenses for outlay involved in being a councillor, what on earth does any one spend £1000 per week on in expenses.
People keep families on far less than that

I also note that on the latest published expense one of the highest claimants is a local publican running a successful pub, he runs a nice new Mercedes too.


This set of greedy types we have in place remind me of Animal Farm, some pigs being more equal than other.

Its good to see that there are replies from councillors in these comments, it show that not only do some of them read them, but that the whole affair has got them well rattled.
Good, it will not be forgotten by us for , at the going down of the next election slips, we WILL remember them.

Ukip will be dancing in the streets at this fiasco.
I agree with all you have written Shed, well surmised. However it should be noted at the meeting on Feb 4th when we tried to get them to overturn the increase ( but failed) the only UKIP Councillor in the council a David Pollitt of Melksham Central did not want to get involved. He abstained from voting along with 3 Liberal Democrat and one conservative other councillors. Whats the point if you abstain from voting? Why be a councillor if you don't have the strength of your convictions.
[quote][p][bold]shed[/bold] wrote: I have always believed that people who stand for election as local councillors did on a voluntary basis for public good, if I had known that it was for a salary I'd have stood for election myself; certainty these expenses/salary pay more than I ever earned. Maybe I am just naive. While I have no objection to anyone claiming expenses for outlay involved in being a councillor, what on earth does any one spend £1000 per week on in expenses. People keep families on far less than that I also note that on the latest published expense one of the highest claimants is a local publican running a successful pub, he runs a nice new Mercedes too. This set of greedy types we have in place remind me of Animal Farm, some pigs being more equal than other. Its good to see that there are replies from councillors in these comments, it show that not only do some of them read them, but that the whole affair has got them well rattled. Good, it will not be forgotten by us for , at the going down of the next election slips, we WILL remember them. Ukip will be dancing in the streets at this fiasco.[/p][/quote]I agree with all you have written Shed, well surmised. However it should be noted at the meeting on Feb 4th when we tried to get them to overturn the increase ( but failed) the only UKIP Councillor in the council a David Pollitt of Melksham Central did not want to get involved. He abstained from voting along with 3 Liberal Democrat and one conservative other councillors. Whats the point if you abstain from voting? Why be a councillor if you don't have the strength of your convictions. artiprod
  • Score: 4

5:18pm Fri 7 Feb 14

shed says...

"Why be a councillor if you don't have the strength of your convictions."

Lack of moral fibre?
"Why be a councillor if you don't have the strength of your convictions." Lack of moral fibre? shed
  • Score: 2

1:03am Sat 8 Feb 14

brandx says...

Yes, UKIP is not the solution. We need more Independents who represent their constituencies not a party.
Yes, UKIP is not the solution. We need more Independents who represent their constituencies not a party. brandx
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Friend of the People says...

IT appears that various members of the public are making official complaints about the disgraceful conduct of certain Conservsative councillors at this meeting. Not only did they heckle those speakers presenting the petition but they also gave a hard time to a CPRE lady asking a question.

That and the split in the Lib Dems are it seems most memorable from the meeting - not the vote. With a built in Conservative majority, could it go any other wa?. Still the Lib Dems are splitting. Hopefully next the Conservatives.
IT appears that various members of the public are making official complaints about the disgraceful conduct of certain Conservsative councillors at this meeting. Not only did they heckle those speakers presenting the petition but they also gave a hard time to a CPRE lady asking a question. That and the split in the Lib Dems are it seems most memorable from the meeting - not the vote. With a built in Conservative majority, could it go any other wa?. Still the Lib Dems are splitting. Hopefully next the Conservatives. Friend of the People
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree