UNTIL the free Citizen council news bulletin came through our door I was not fully aware of the number of councillors that cover the Wakefield district.
I am astonished that the number is over 63 for such an area that compared to some places in England is not highly populated.
I don’t believe for a moment that all these people are gainfully employed in duties involving the public.
Especially when papers such as the Citizen offer all the contact numbers for the relevant departments that the public may need to contact directly for services, thereby making councillors almost redundant except when the department involved may not be reacting as one may desire and some pressure is needed to be applied.
Having said that, I did a recent poll among my friends and not one of them had ever discussed anything with a councillor in their long lives.
I looked a little further into what it costs for this army of councillors and in the last financial year it cost the ratepayers of Wakefield over £1,035,000 in allowances and expenses.
One councillor is highlighted in the financial register summary, a Peter Box who was paid £49,300.
I suggest that the council constitution be reviewed with the view of reducing the number of councillors for this area.
Considering the financial times we live in and the cuts the councils are making, if there was a one year trial period with two councillors per ward, instead of three, about a £300,000 saving could be made – enough to maintain the fabric of several schools.
In the interest of fairness I think the council management team should take action and reduce the number of councillors and thereby set a savings example themselves.
St Michael’s Avenue