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As regular readers of this blog know, the TaxPayers' Alliance are not my favourite bunch of bunnies as I think they think far too much concerned about cost and not enough about value. They have also yet to support my campaign to have the Freedom of Information Act extended to all organisations spending our money - be they public services or businesses on contract etc.
However, in my inbox this morning arrives an email from them saying "Councillors' allowances are often reasonable compensation for people making a valuable contribution to their local community. But it is hard to justify why some authorities are paying much more than others, and big increases at a time when taxpayers are under so much pressure. And with other perks too, there is a real danger councillors start to see their job as representing the council to the people, not the people to the council".
The big increases bit stood out for me. I can sign up to that. If any council remuneration committee has increased expenses by more than inflation, let alone by more than the increase in the national average wage, that is pretty shabby in my opinion. It smacks of councillors looking after themselves rather than the communities they represent. And I say this without knowing the political colour of the councils involved.
But what of PCC candidates and in particular those who currently sit on Police Authorities? It seems reasonable to me that, given the law (you cannot sit on a police authority and be a PCC etc), that if you have started campaigning to become a PCC you should resign from being a member of your police authority. To do continue being a member and continue claiming an allowance... just does not seem right to me. Indeed, it seems pretty inappropriate.
Again I am saying this without the knowledge of what is happening around the country so I may have upset some Labour PCC candidates. Nevertheless, I stand by what I say.
But I also know, because I had it confirmed to me this morning, that Cllr Anthony Stansfeld, the anointed Conservative PCC candidate for Thames Valley has NOT resigned from Thames Valley Police Authority. He has had plenty of time to resign since he was selected (back in the middle of July).
Is Cllr Stansfeld still claiming an allowance from the PA which is (indirectly) helping him fund his campaign?
Is Cllr Stansfeld still getting privileged access to information about policing in Thames Valley by dint of his membership of the PA?
Is Cllr Stansfeld still getting privelged access to police staff and officers by dint of his membership of the PA?
Why hasn't Cllr Stansfeld resigned yet?
Perhaps the Police Authority or Cllr Stansfeld might like to answer these questions. (Although I am not holding my breath regarding Cllr Stansfeld who has yet to answer my questions about the location of his business interests... see here, here and more below)
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