Dale Street Blues
06-24-2009, 10:10 AM
Yesterday I spent a good while perusing through Liverpool Council's statement of accounts. There were a couple of things of interest in there. One thing I noticed was the amount collectively paid to councillors in allowances over the past year...
06-24-2009, 10:20 AM
Mmmmmm! There was a time when councillors were not paid at all. So I would say no to your question, m' lad.
06-24-2009, 11:44 AM
From clickliverpool.com Febuary this year.
What do they all do?
In its effort to save money Liverpool City Council has come up with several ideas.
One of the proposals, which has thankfully been dropped, was to replace the school crossing patrols, the lollipop men and women, with unmanned crossings. This great move would save ?200.000 and the unmanned crossings, according to a council spokesman are more reliable.
They are also more expensive, costing on average ?100.000 to install. They also will create more frustration as they will operate 24 hours a day, not just at school time and, of course, during the school holidays, when the crossings are not needed.
The Council say it is difficult to get staff; this is because of the daft tax situation, which means that if the lollypop man or woman is a pensioner, they are taxed on the small salary and end up with only ?5. Ludicrous.
What is wrong with employing younger people, the sense of responsibility and work ethic involved would help them get full-time employment.
Charging for Visitor Parking Permits is another suggestion. Just do away with Residents parking, save all that bureaucracy, remove all the poles and sign-age and give the pavement back to the pedestrians.
Another scheme is to increase the cost of parking by extending the parking times from 8 in the morning till 8 in the evening. 12 hours a day. This idiotic proposal will generate ?110.000 for Council funds.
How much it will cost local businesses the Council have no idea.
I will give you an example of how it will cost businesses some income.
As a family we regularly go to the Cinema at FACT. We drive in and go to the early evening show, round about 6.30 p.m. and then on for a meal.
If the Council's extended parking rules come into effect, we will go elsewhere, where the parking is free. Getting the bus is not a viable option; going in and out of town on the bus would add an extra ?12 to the night out.
So city centre businesses will lose-out at a time when many are suffering or even closing. The closure of Rubber Soul in Mathew Street, a long established business, will be a surprise to many.
When will the Council realise that the Motorists of Merseyside are not a cash cow to fill shortfalls caused by Council incompetence? Do councillors and Council employees pay for parking on Council property?
Council property is the people's property.
I have a better idea of how the council can save money.
REDUCE THE NUMBER OF COUNCILLORS.
At present there are 90 councillors, why? What do they all do? I suspect that committees are created to give councillors something to do and make them feel important.
In the ward I live in there are three, do we really need that many? The councillors are from different parties as well, which causes confusing with the electorate.
If we reduced the number of councillors to 29 or 31, one per ward, just think of all the money that would be saved in councillor's allowances and attendance fees.
There would also be no need to have elections ever year, with all those costs.
Council elections should take place once every 3 years. I was told that the reason the Council holds yearly elections is for continuity. It would not be possible to run the city if the councillors all changed.
We have national elections every 4 or 5 years and that seems to work.
Liverpool has the lowest electoral turn-out in the country, the sitting Councillors are there by default, not because the locals wanted them. We need a box on the voting slip that gives the option: None of the above.
There is too much in-fighting between the political parties, which also leads to apathy. How often have you heard someone say "No point voting, they are all the same".
Once people became councillors at the end of a successful career in business, retail or industry. When they had experience of dealing with budgets and problems.
People were invited to stand for the Council and do their "Civic Duty", that's were the expression came from. People were not paid.
Now if you look at the present group of councillors here in Liverpool and I suspect it will be repeated all over the country, the majority of are employed in the public sector.
Look on www.liverpool.gov.uk and inspect the Councillor's Register of Interests and you will see that most councillors are either not in employment or are employed in the Public Sector, Education, Social Services or even by another council.
It is very hard to find any councillors who are employed by the private sector.
These days being a councillor is a career move for some people, a stepping-stone in politics. Councillor, Member of Parliament or European MP, all these come with monetary rewards.
So, let's cut the number of committees, councillors cam claim an attendance allowance for - less committees, less expense.
We can all make suggestions about areas that the Council have no business being involved-in. Telling people what to eat and drink is an area were I would stop council involvement. I'm sure that you can think of a few more.
Once we have reduced the number of councillors and the number of Committees, there will be no need to keep coming up with idiotic fund-raising ideas and we might even reduce parking charges and times in line with, say, Manchester which is benefiting from a reasoned parking policy.
In answer to the question posed. Absolutely No. If they don't want to do it, don't enter into it.
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