THERE is an article in this week’s Dudley News in which Councillor Tim Crumpton suggests that the free taxi service for the small number of youngsters with special needs could be ‘axed’ to save £200,000.
Can I make it clear that I have no vested interest, either political, business or family, in the matter.
I do feel, however that this is an insult to those families who are affected, when you consider that by its own figures on the council website for the period from April 1 2013 to March 31, 2014, a total of £827,649.93 was claimed by Dudley councillors.
Individual expenses for councillors are available on the council website.
I suspect that the ‘Councillors’ Allowances’ will be increased in April in line with the Members’ Allowances Scheme and doubt that many of the councillors will forego any increase.
Councillors historically did the work out of pride in the community and not to gain a second income, which is what seems to be the present situation.
A number of councillors have full-time jobs and seem to have little regard as to how the income from all sources, including rent, rates and business rates are spent (or wasted). The waste of space in Stone Street is a perfect example of that waste.
I appreciate that there should be adequate and reasonable recompense for expenses, but the figures seem to far exceed what is reasonable.
I am sure that within the budget of more than £800m, it should be possible to allocate such a small amount to a vital service for the individual families, or is it a scare tactic with elections in the offing?
Perhaps some of the inflated expenses or higher management salaries could be capped and re-allocated.
It is not surprising that the general public are fed up with the way political capital is made by all of the political parties out of any issue, reflected by the very low turnout at elections.
Many consider that a vote for any party has no effect on the dogmatic approach taken by most councillors. I have also written to our MP, Mr Ian Austin, who is an excellent constituency MP.