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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Admin on October 28, 2014, 05:15:40 PM

 



Title: Elmbridge and Surrey Consultations
Post by: Admin on October 28, 2014, 05:15:40 PM
In case you've missed it (and our recent circular to members):

There is a little-publicised Elmbridge consultation on how often residents should vote to elect Borough Councillors (as at present, elections for one third of the council seats each year of three, then a year's break when County elections are held; or just the once every four years for all seats).  The closing date for this is 2 November

More information on the consultation can be found on the following web page: http://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/council/elections/Votingfrequency.htm
and http://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/snap/electoralcycle.htm

There's not much scope in the survey, which poses just the one question.  The Residents' Association would also be interested in your broader views on the subject, as well., if you'd like to post them here.  Coming up soon is another proposal by the current administration in the Civic Centre to reduce the number of councillors in Elmbridge (one suspects that this will be paving the way to increase allowances for the remainder).  This will be put to consultation in due course by the Boundary Commission.


Title: Re: Elmbridge and Surrey Consultations: number of councillors
Post by: Admin on October 29, 2014, 05:33:55 PM
Ruth Lyon has written to local newspapers on the subject of proposals by the Elmbridge Administration to reduce the number of councillors. Text is at http://residents-association.com/pdfs/Ruth_Lyon_Councillor_Numbers.pdf Published in both the Comet and the Advertiser. Your comments welcome.


Title: Re: Elmbridge and Surrey Consultations
Post by: Elmbridgeblue on November 04, 2014, 11:30:07 AM


Title: Re: Elmbridge and Surrey Consultations
Post by: Admin on November 04, 2014, 01:32:46 PM
Elmbridgeblue: your message is blank.  There are problems with the system when pasting in text from elsewhere.  But typing directly in the edit window still seems to work - have another go.


Title: Re: Elmbridge and Surrey Consultations
Post by: Elmbridgeblue on November 04, 2014, 01:48:55 PM
Suggesting there is a hidden agenda to increase councillors' allowances once the Boundary Commission has finished its work is deeply cynical. If you check the facts, the Elmbridge Conservative group has frozen Councillors' allowances for 4 out of the last 5 years, with a 1% increase in the most recent year agreed with the leader of the Residents' Association group. That's a real terms cut with inflation in excess of 2% for almost all of that period.

Also, Elmbridge Conservatives have consistently opposed the Surrey CC leadership's decision to pay themselves allowances above and beyond the amounts recommended by the independent pay board. See for example Cllr James Browne's blog at https://jamesbrowne.wordpress.com/2014/05/. At Surrey CC, all but one of the Conservative county councillors representing Elmbridge divisions either voted against the increases or abstained on the key vote.

We can agree to disagree on whether 60 borough councillors is or is not the right number of elected representatives for Elmbridge. If Friday's Surrey Advertiser is anything to go by, the public wants fewer politicians on the payroll. Can we please have a debate about that - and about whether we want to stick with a cycle of elections in thirds - rather than resorting to smear tactics.


Title: Re: Elmbridge and Surrey Consultations
Post by: Admin on November 04, 2014, 01:56:37 PM
Thank you for that, Elmbridgeblue.  Are you stating that the Conservatives will not increase councillor allowances following a reduction in councillor numbers?

The opposite side of cynicism is naivety.


Title: Re: Elmbridge and Surrey Consultations
Post by: Elmbridgeblue on November 04, 2014, 06:47:20 PM
I can't make up Elmbridge Conservative group policy but I can say that the Group is committed to keeping allowance increases at a level which is no higher than that awarded to Elmbridge staff, and that there is no plan whatsoever to increase them after the boundary review. Since part of the motivation for the review is to save taxpayers' money it would completely defeat the purpose of the review if the allowances saved by the reduction in councillor numbers were just shared amongst the "survivors".


Title: Re: Elmbridge and Surrey Consultations
Post by: Admin on November 18, 2014, 12:16:28 PM
EBC voted last night by 29 votes to 23 to keep the existing system of elections for a third of councillors in each of three years (followed by a fallow year in which County elections are held.)

The public consultation had shown a majority in favour of keeping the existing arrangement.  It is a pleasure to record that on this occasion the council vote followed the public wish. 


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