IAN HART: ‘A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

Happy new year, one and all. Although apparently not that happy if you’re in and around the council chambers, as our elected members for Adur and Worthing have kicked off 2016 in controversial fashion over their proposed allowances increases.

New year, new Harty? Maybe not – the easiest thing for the next 300 words or so would be to embark on a tirade of ‘how dare the councillors claim this money off the tax payer’, perhaps even finishing off with suggesting some kind of coup d’état that would see Lady Colin Campbell installed as an Oliver Cromwell-type figure, overseeing everything in Worthing and Shoreham?

But I’m not going to do that. While this issue has polarised opinion locally, I’m very much in favour of competent councillors being paid relevant allowances.

Actually, this debate only really applies to about 35 per of the electorate – those who are bothered to vote in our local elections. In my opinion, the rest give up any right to complain by staying away from the polling stations, year in, year out.

It’s no secret that I’ve been in and around local politics for almost 25 years. My dad represented both East Worthing on West Sussex County Council and Central on the borough council for almost a decade.

I know the work a good councillor has to undertake 52 weeks of the year – case work, phone calls, letter writing (latterly emails). It’s not just about attending the meetings; its far, far more than that.

Therefore if these people, having put their heads about the parapet by merely filling out a nomination form and then going through the election process before making it into office put the work in, then they rightly deserve to be rewarded.

Over the years as a town we’ve seen some council chamber charlatans, who come in, talking the talking but don’t walk the walk, and they are quickly found out by both their fellow councillors and the locals who voted. Basically, if they don’t cut it, they soon go

The ones we have now, whatever colour rosette they wear, seem to be going in the right direction, which can only be good for all of us.

A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work is an old saying, but an apt one.

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