Outgoing council leader John Jarvis has today tried to pass the buck for one last time by calling on opponents to find alternative ways of saving money.
We’re glad you asked, John: it’s time all councillors put their money where their mouths are and stop claiming their allowances.
In the financial year of 2011–2012 Cllr John Jarvis claimed a whopping £41,787.16 in allowances!
Cllr Olwyn Barnett claimed £18,729.58
Cllr Adrian Blackshaw (farmer and involved with three other businesses) claimed £21,694.49
Cllr Patricia Morgan (farmer, landowner and director of Countrywide Farmers) claimed £19,965.26
Cllr Roger Phillips (farmer and landowner) claimed £30,088.95
Cllr Philip Price (farmer, landowner and internet consultant) claimed £20,918.55
Cllr Brian Wilcox (second job with employment tribunal service) claimed £19,743.18
All parties are in on it.
It’s Our Country councillors were elected as the party that would clean up local politics. Most of them have jobs aside from their council duties but all are still claiming an allowance.
Take Cllr Liz Chave for example. In June last year she registered two other separate jobs. Her husband is employed as a vicar and they both live in a church-owned house free of charge. Yet despite clearly not needing to claim a penny in 2011–2012 she claimed an allowance of £6,978.53.
Her fellow party councillor Jim Kenyon owns and runs both the Victory pub and Hereford Brewery. He also owns land in Breinton. In 2011–2012 he claimed £7,112.55.
Without exception all 58 councillors serving in the years 2011–2012 claimed allowances, whether they needed to or not.
If Cllr John Jarvis (owner of a bed and breakfast business) wants ideas for savings we suggest he gives up his various allowances.
And not just him. We throw down the gauntlet to all councillors to publicly declare they will no longer be claiming an allowance from Herefordshire Council.
If times are so bad that we’re about to engage in wholesale book-burning then we think councillors should forgo money they clearly do not need.