To: East Grinstead Town Council

Scrap excessive town councillors' allowances in East Grinstead

Scrap excessive town councillors' allowances in East Grinstead

At 7pm on Monday the 4th of October East Grinstead Town Council is debating and voting on the below motion. We're calling on them to vote for it, to scrap town councillor allowances and replace them with a fairer, lower cost, alternative.

1. Cease all councillor allowance payments for the remainder of the year 2021/22 and abolish councillors' allowances from 2022/23 onwards.
a) Replace with capped expenses of £100 for items such as printer ink, paper and driving to
meetings, and require the submission of receipts to the Clerk.
b) For members of the Planning Committee provide 20p per mile fuel expense capped at an
average of £1 per meeting.

Town councillors' allowances are unnecessary, counterproductive and come at an unjustifiable cost. Implementing this policy would save the taxpayer about £20,000 each year, or about 90% of councillor allowances' current costs. That's why Cllr Charles Amos, Leader of The Opposition on East Grinstead Town Council, has given back his £1,155 allowance.

JOIN US AT EAST COURT TO DEBATE THE ISSUE BEFORE THE VOTE

In addition to signing this petition why not join us at:

7pm on the 4th of October at East Court, College Ln, East Grinstead RH19 3LT

Make your voice heard, ask probing questions and lobby councillors before they vote on the issue that evening.

If you can't join us in person email [email protected], who can provide you with a Zoom link, through which you can also ask questions.

FOR MORE INFOMATION

For more information on why councillors' allowances should be abolished read the following article https://thestrandreview.com/articles/2021/9/29/town-councillors-allowances-should-be-scrapped or contact Cllr Charles Amos on email, [email protected]

Why is this important?

Every year East Grinstead Town Council wastes £21,945 on councillor allowances. That is equal to £1.91 for every council taxpayer in the town. This is a wholly unjustifiable burden to place on East Grinstead taxpayers. This is so for two reasons.

1. Councillors could still be acquired without paying them anything near the current allowance. Parish councillors in Felbridge, Ardingly and Cuckfield aren't paid any allowances and only have very limited expenses available to them. This shows there is no need to pay each town councillor over £1000 each to do their job, which is not particularly intense anyway. It usually consists of a short meeting once every fortnight. To force the taxpayer to pay more for councillors than they must is simply to rip off residents. According to various studies the average expense of a town or parish councillor is between £50 and £130 each year, £1025 less than councillors currently receive. Capped expenses to councillors should be available, but not the current rip off allowances.

2. Councillor allowances lead to worse decision making. One can imagine councillors passing the construction of a bus shelter before an election purely to acquire the popularity of voters, despite the shelter in no way being warranted given its costs, simply so they can get re-elected and therefore maintain their allowance. The right decision would have been to say no to residents, but with over £4,000 hanging on winning the election, taking the right decision is far more likely to take a back seat to doing what’s going to win you the money. And with just ten votes in some ward races this behavior isn’t at all farfetched.

East Grinstead, UK

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