Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Lord Teverson: Should Councillors only be paid allowance if they attend meetings?

The Lib Dems are running a campaign against the poor attendance record of a sitting independent Cornwall councillor. They certainly have a point.

It is an interesting question as to whether councillors should be paid an allowance only if they turn up to meetings.

Certainly this Council has many pointless meetings and many meetings go on far too long.  With the officer time involved this wastes substantial sums of public money but the Council does not count the cost of officer time unless a member wants a traffic improvement scheme. The number and length of meetings also makes it difficult for councillors who need to make ends meet by doing other jobs.

 The Indy/Lib Dem administration arranged over 50 meetings/events/'workshops' in the last year to debate governance and how many councillors there should be in 2021. They consider that very worthwhile.

Anyway, to consider the question,  if we take Lord Teverson, who is standing for the Lib Dems in St Mewan:

Previously when he was a Cornwall Councillor he was a poor attendee. In his last year as a councillor (2012/2013) he  attended only 7 out of 18 meetings of the Council/its committees at which he was expected. An attendance rate of 39%. But he claimed his full allowances of £12,128.

In contrast in the same year (2012/2013) he attended the House of Lords on 133 days (out of a possible 139). An attendance rate of 96%.

The Lords generally pay £300 a day provided you turn up, plus various expenses. Lord Teverson's total House of Lords claim for 2012/13 was £62,583.

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