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To think that £17k for being a local councillor is excessive?

(99 Posts)
Sweetpotatoaddict Thu 13-Apr-17 20:12:01

I was curious to see what they were paid, and expected a small amount as its a role designed to fit with another job. It concerns me that it may encourage people to stand purely for the financial gain and not because of a desire to help. I'm curious to hear what other mnetters think. Or have I misinterpreted something somewhere?

ShowMePotatoSalad Thu 13-Apr-17 20:14:47

I personally don't think it's excessive. A councillor is quite a responsible position - you have to attend loads of meetings, answer copious amounts of letters/emails/phone calls, attend and speak at local events, amongst many other things. I have a real dislike for the concept that people in public office should do it for next to nowt and be glad of it.

Kittykatmacbill Thu 13-Apr-17 20:15:46

I know one, if he only gets 17k then they get a lot for their money.

Sweets101 Thu 13-Apr-17 20:16:25

I thought people did it for free!

Believeitornot Thu 13-Apr-17 20:16:27

I would rather they were paid sufficiently!

bookworm14 Thu 13-Apr-17 20:16:59

They don't all get 17k; it varies depending on the local authority. 17k seems reasonable to me though, as it is virtually a full time job if you do it properly (DH is a councillor so I know what I'm talking about!).

Oblomov17 Thu 13-Apr-17 20:17:21

Awful job. Mr angry from purley emailing or phoning you every week. No thanks!!

ShowMePotatoSalad Thu 13-Apr-17 20:17:58

Also agree it's not really something that can be easily slotted in to other work. If so you'll pretty much be working round the clock. Don't see why anyone should work for free.

NickMyLipple Thu 13-Apr-17 20:18:03

My grandfather is a local councillor and he gets nothing at all apart from his expenses - petrol, printing costs, parking for duties etc. There's no salary or wage where he is based - maybe it varies based on the local authority, or perhaps the £17k is a limit to the expenses that can be claimed?

LIZS Thu 13-Apr-17 20:18:21

It takes up a lot of time , even if voluntary. I didn't think they got more than expenses and additional responsibility allowances though except at county level.

bookworm14 Thu 13-Apr-17 20:18:37

Oblomov - as a councillor's wife I can confirm that description is spot on!!

BarchesterFlowers Thu 13-Apr-17 20:20:26

Most councillors are not paid, certainly not at parish council level. The chairman might get an annual expense allowance starting at £50, max £2500 ish.

The next tier, district councillors usually get an allowance £2000 to £11000 in my experience but the higher level is generally paid to cabinet members who will attend a lot of meetings.

County council allowances can be similar to district levels.

It isn't a role designed to be performed with another job at all. Some councillors are very active despite working, others not so. Many are retired which allows them to take a very active role.

What tier/role are you referring to?

AntiHop Thu 13-Apr-17 20:21:12

Most local councillors do not get paid anywhere near £17k. It's not a easy ride. It's a lot of responsibility and very time consuming.

AgentProvocateur Thu 13-Apr-17 20:21:38

I don't think £17k would encourage anyone to stand for the money! I wouldn't give up my evenings for triple that!

Ragwort Thu 13-Apr-17 20:21:50

I think £17k would be the absolute top end and would include expenses?

My DF was a councillor for many years and it's a pretty thankless role - he actually declined his expenses as he was already receiving a good pension and did not feel it was appropriate to receive the allownce.

Some councillors do a really good job and work very hard for their constituents - some don't. I take a keen interest in local politics (not a councillor myself) and it is interesting to see what they do (and don't do).

Emphasise Thu 13-Apr-17 20:21:59

It should be a proper paid job. Making these kinds or roles voluntary (or close to) means only the wealthy or those in top jobs that allow lots of flexibility can participate

Rainydayspending Thu 13-Apr-17 20:24:43

You'd struggle with another job. Local authority will want you in day time meetings (as will potentially fire, police, church groups). Community groups may well want you to attend evening meetings. Of course councillors meetings have to happen too. Weekends might be attending the odd fair for something, maybe some openings or even a scarce "jolly" entertaining people visiting the area/ local businesses. Then there's actually responding to email and phonecalls. You'd be a lousy employee!

Thegiantofillinois Thu 13-Apr-17 20:25:02

My dad did it for nearly 30 years. Did it round his (shit) full time job. We never saw him. He was a town councillor and may have been a county one. Many a weekend morning hijacked by people phoning cos their sky box had fallen off or their grass needed cutting and what was x going to do about it? Walks down town were always running the gauntlet too. Never got a salary for it, but I suspect it gave him what his job didn't: status and responsibility.

I'm tempted by it, but my job's already more than full time-and I couldn't justify the impact on family life.

Thegiantofillinois Thu 13-Apr-17 20:26:58

Don't jobs have to give people time to do public service work? Th e y do for school governors. Df was also union rep. Suspect he was barely ever in work!

Unescorted Thu 13-Apr-17 20:28:02

I work with local councillors on a regular basis. 17 k is cheap if they are a portfolio holder. At 17 k they are working at less than national minimum wage.

Emphasise Thu 13-Apr-17 20:28:37

No, my (local authority) contract expressly forbids it without prior agreement

BarchesterFlowers Thu 13-Apr-17 20:29:25

I know a lot of councillors, a third of them hold down full time jobs. Most parish and district councils meet in the evenings making the role open to all.

Committee membership is generally based on availability- so if you told member services you weren't available during the day they would put you on a committee that met in the evening.

Fruitboxjury Thu 13-Apr-17 20:30:06

Looking at the time our councillors spend on local issues and the responsibility we have entrusted them with, that sounds like it's very low to me.

If it's pretty much a full time job, that's only 15% more than the minimum wage?? Meaning, they get not a great deal more than my cleaner. if you don't count brown envelopes from property developers-

Unescorted Thu 13-Apr-17 20:31:25

emphasise you are right there. Most are retired and white middle class males. We need more diversity in the governance of the country.

BarbarianMum Thu 13-Apr-17 20:34:35

Well if you pay nothing then very few people could afford to do it. And frankly I can't imagine many would do it for 17k.

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