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With Islay’s winter life-line bus service in the council’s crosshairs in its proposed £9 million cuts, it encouraged me to look at Argyll and Bute’s 2018/19 councillor expenses, the latest published.
Out of our 36 councillors, Councillor Redman cost us a shocking £1,612.91 in meals claimed for, over half claimed for by all 36 councillors at a £2,446.38 total, which is a bit rich given Councillor Redman is a Tory whose party of austerity and Universal Credit (still to hit the majority) has driven the rise of charity donations to food banks to feed millions and millions more when Universal Credit is fully rolled out.
He once told me while campaigning that a number of councillors faced court action for not paying Council Tax yet he now spends the average Council Tax house bill on meals.
I don’t think we should be subsidising councillors’ meals – if their salary is not enough, don’t stand for election.
In my ward, Kintyre and the Islands, the councillors’ meals claimed for were: Councillor Redman £1,612.91; Councillor Currie £541.20; Councillor Horn £11.93.
All 36 councillors cost us £825,972 in 2018/19 in total expenses. That’s £4 million odd between elections, and could be better spent on more accountability, life-line bus services, crumbling schools, etc.
Colin M Campbell,
Isle of Islay.