Offering good value

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THE independent remuneration panel generally does a good job in considering the level of members’ expenses in Adur and Worthing each year and all councillors support the freeze on members allowances in the current financial climate.

However, there are a number of concerns I have in relation to the article published in the Herald last week.

Firstly, to measure councillors’ worth purely on the number of people they represent is an arbitrary and unhelpful way of making an informed judgement.

In my view, it should be more about the involvement each member has in dealing with council matters, and/or the level of service they give to our communities.

In this way, the true value of each councillor would be known and money not wasted on councillors who fail to deliver any service whatever but purely take the allowances.

Comment is also made about the number of councillors in Adur area, without understanding that there is a minimum number required in order to fulfil all the council commitments.

Finally, while we all agree that voluntary public service should be the aspiration, it is essential councillors are not disadvantaged or end up subsidising their role, as some do at present by taking on public duty.

People may also like to consider why more young people are not standing as councillors.

Simply, it is because they cannot afford to take on the responsibility with allowances at the current level and the time commitment needed.

For the record, the allowances received by councillors in Adur are among the lowest in the whole of the UK so represent extremely good value to the community.

David Simmons

Adur district councillor

for Sompting