From: Cllr. Ian Jenkins, St. Mary’s Close, Brede
Regarding the article in last week’s Observer (January 18), ‘Concerns over paid shadow cabinet plan’.
It is worth noting that this proposal was put forward by the independent panel on councillors’ remuneration, they have no connection whatsoever with the district council and are truly independent men and women who are tasked rightly to consider aspects associated with being a councillor.
I was disappointed therefore to hear the remarks made by some of the existing Conservative cabinet.
Cllr. Kenward reflected on the responsibility that cabinet members are held accountable for.
Under the previous leader that sentiment I would agree with him, but now, decisions are taken more in group, with the approval of the leader of the council.
Cllr. Hart commented, we have 31 Conservatives and seven opposition councillors.
Yes, she is right, but forgets the very important fact that the recommendations are NOT for this term, but after the May district council elections.
As someone who has served in a Conservative cabinet, I am well-placed to offer my views. A shadow cabinet, like at Westminster holds to account the polices of the Government.
This is what is proposed for the district council.
As things stand, the 37 Conservative councillors have free rein and only themselves as sounding boards, which perpetuates the same basic policies.
If the idea of a shadow cabinet is consigned to the dustbin, as seems to be implied at the last cabinet meeting, residents will be faced with another four years of the same.
As to the comments regarding an allowance for the proposed shadow cabinet members, maybe the increase proposed for the existing cabinet members could stay as is, and their proposed increase go towards whoever is appointed to shadow cabinet!