Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

You Be 'Judge' at Ballot Box; FEEDBACK

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

You Be 'Judge' at Ballot Box; FEEDBACK

Article excerpt

THE article on expenses (Gazette, 28.08.14) made by some Middlesbrough councillors and the mayor had some eye-raising claims, such as PS2.80 for attending a remembrance service, or PS4 claimed to attend a funeral. All claims submitted have to go before a council officer before being accepted, so we can only assume that each and every claim that was submitted was deemed as acceptable, as it was within the guidelines. But what is morally acceptable in the eyes of the public and other councillors is a totally different matter; as an example, councillors only have to attend two meetings per year, and if they do that and nothing else then members of the public, any council officer or other councillors would not be able to remove that councillor, no matter how unacceptable this may appear. It would be within the guidelines, just the same as the claims which were reported in the Gazette.

Being in an elected position means that you can be judged on the four previous years, on what you have said, on what you have voted for, what you have done for the area you represent - and what claims you have submitted. Members of the public have the power to remove any elected person, as they are judge and jury, and most importantly they are the ones who have to pay for the claims and allowances of their councillors. Next May, residents in each ward have the chance to place a cross next to their preferred choice, and we can only hope that the mass who usually put a cross next to a name because of a party attachment will instead stop to consider who they are actually voting for to represent them. PETER COX, BRIAN HUBBARD and MICK SAUNDERS, Middlesbrough Independent Councillors Association IT is disgraceful to find out what claims have been made by Mallon and Labour councillors. Mayor Mallon refers to claims made by other members before he became mayor in 2002. …

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