Nice work if you can get it…….

A letter i wrote to the South Wales Echo was published last week. It was an edited version of the following…..

If I was paid £58,962 to do a job in public office, I would take the responsibility of that role very seriously. I would strive to ensure that I delivered over and above the level of work expected from me. I wouldn’t even think about taking on not one but two extra jobs. I certainly wouldn’t feel I had any right to take on extra jobs that encroached onto the time I was supposed to be spending doing my main job. I would ensure that I remembered at all times that I was an elected public official, and would hold true to the Nolan Seven Principles of Public Life, the first of which is ‘Selflessness – Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves…..’. I would certainly consider that I was well paid enough that I wouldn’t need to claim £1177.50 in expenses. And I would take any critique of my performance very seriously.

I am very disappointed, and, as a struggling council tax payer, totally outraged, that Councillor Russell Roberts doesn’t seem to share these feelings. His response to the recent call from Leanne Wood to reduce the pay he takes from RCT to reflect the time he actually spends working on council business was, in my opinion, both arrogant and pathetic. He assures us that the figures offered by Ms Wood are inaccurate, but doesn’t offer any alternatives. He has failed to show any convincing evidence that he is delivering good value for money to the residents of RCT. Let us not forget that, in addition to being Leader of the Council, Chair of the South Wales Police Authority, and a member of the Cwm Taf Health Board, he is also a constituency councillor for Tonyrefail East, one of the most deprived wards in RCT. How on earth does he find the time to serve the people who elected him to the council in the first place?

I urge Councillor Roberts to give very serious consideration to the call for him to either lessen his workload and focus completely on his duties to the people of Rhondda Cynon Taff, or accept that he should take part time pay for a part time job, and allow the extra money he is receiving to go back to council funds to provide the services the council should be providing to the area.

In these austere times, we need to get value for money from our council tax. Over £50,000 for 3 days a week is not value for money. Do the right thing by the people Councillor Roberts.