Ashfield MP says time to cut the number costly local councillors

COVID-19 has cost the country an absolute fortune and moving on we must look at ways of making sure our finances are in order but without cutting services or returning to austerity.

Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 7:00 am

Just this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an extra £3 billion for the NHS.

Hundreds of millions have been given to local councils to help cope with the extra demands and council workers have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep vital services going.

But we must make sure these services continue and if Covid has taught us anything it has taught that we must adapt and look at different ways of working.

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Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield. Photo: London Portrait Photographer-DAV

And one of these ways would be to ensure our council tax is spent as sensibly as possible.

In Nottinghamshire alone, there are more than 300 councillors which comes with extra costs such as expenses and travel.

I have been a councillor in Ashfield and I was embarrassed at the amount of money I was paid, so I gave my special responsibility allowance away to local good causes and families in need.

In Sutton West there are five councillors and I can honestly say I could do all five roles on my own which means we only need one councillor in that area.

Many of the district councillors are also county councillors for the same area and are raking in more than £30,000 a year for a part-time job with the council leader getting around £65,000 a year.

I say its time to reduce the number of councillors to around 70 for the whole county.

It has been estimated this would save £30 million a year in Nottinghamshire which could then be put back into local services.

It is a no brainer really but the only people complaining about this are local councillors who will see an end to the £30,000 a year role for attending a few meetings a week.

They should do the right thing and champion this cause as the alternative would see council tax rise and hit everyone in the pocket.

I am fighting hard along with other Conservative MP’s in Nottinghamshire to get extra funding for our area.

I will fight tooth and nail for this area whether that be from Central Government or County Hall.