CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

How many full-time politicians do we need?

22 May, 2020

• THE last time I checked, being a community hero meant doing something good to help others at cost to yourself.

Attending Labour Party meetings and completing an election campaign is unquestionably difficult, but we can’t conflate the challenges of boring meetings or rigours of canvassing for votes with self-sacrifice.

Indeed these may be attractive activities for some: being a member of a local political group could be a perverse form of entertainment.

I salute those councillors who are doing something to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our community during these difficult times.

But should they be paid for it? We have many volunteers engaged in challenging, onerous tasks whose only reward is to help.

Perhaps a precedent could be set and the current Camden mayor, whose tenure has been extended for another year, could pay her weekly £500 into charity while providing a record of work accomplished and other criteria to justify her second tenure.

Being a councillor cabinet member could be a full time job but not being a backbencher. I totally disagree that councillors should be paid inflated expenses.

How many full-time politicians do we need?

DAVID A WILLIAMS
NW2

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