Allowance cuts taken
IN the context of the very difficult financial outlook facing councils, Malcolm Bubb (Have Your Say, August 14) asks "surely at some point the councillors have to look at their allowances?" In Neath Port Talbot they have already done so!
As part of a workforce agreement reached earlier this year between the council and its main trade unions, councillors will be invited to make a voluntary contribution equivalent to comparable groups of council staff for a period of four years from April 1 next year.
This isn't the first time councillors have acted in support of staff: a 2 per cent staff pay cut in 2011/12 was mirrored in adjustments to councillors' allowances at the time.
It is clearly right that the pain of these cuts should be shared and the lowest paid protected to the maximum extent possible; but I believe that it is important to get a few facts on the table as well.
In addition, while remuneration of councillors is (quite reasonably) a topical issue in these difficult times, it seems to me that comments would perhaps be better directed at those who actually set these allowances: in other words, the panel and not individual local authorities or councillors.
Neath Port Talbot Council