Thursday, 25 April 2013

Views on Local Government & Democracy

Do you believe that Councillors’ allowances are too high, too low or about right?

Ian Thomas (Independent)

This is a difficult one for me having been an ‘unpaid’ Town Councillor for 9 years and an individual who gives a great deal of his time currently and freely to working with a number of charities.  However, I’m a great believer in the saying that if a job’s worth doing then it’s worth doing properly!  I know that I will give 100% and do my best to do it right.  On that basis I believe that the allowances are slightly too low if anything, but in these difficult economic times we all must tighten our belts.  

Will Tremayne (Labour)

I believe that councillors should be remuneration for work they put in, (its important that people of working age should not be excluded from the local demographic process councillor allowances go some way to offset the loss of income. However under no circumstances should this rate be set by councillors. If elected I would abide by the recommendations of an independent remuneration panel. However it is wholly inappropriate to increase councillor’s allowances at a time when cuts are being made to front line services.

Usually there is a low turn out at Local elections in Redruth. How do you think you could engage people more to get involved in local politics? If you are elected, how will you keep in touch?

Ian Thomas (Independent)

People are clearly disenchanted with national politics and politicians.  There is an obvious distrust, whether that be caused by the expenses scandal; the lack of clearly defined policy; manifesto changes or, maybe, even personalities.  I believe that distrust has fostered the apathy that exists and has worsened the situation nationally and locally.

I have a very strong view that party politics should play no part in the workings of any Local Authority.  I would encourage the local electorate to seize the opportunity of the local elections to elect community leaders who will listen and respond to the views and needs of the community in which they serve ... an Independent Council for Cornwall. 

I will keep in touch in a number of open and transparent ways, particularly by engaging with the community face-to-face and at every opportunity.  Some of these opportunities will be created through a regular ‘surgery’, home visits, social media and the publication of my home address, private telephone number and e-mail contact.  I will endeavour to continue my meetings and work with all of the community groups that I am currently involved with – by way of just one example ‘Friends of Victoria Park’.

Will Tremayne (Labour)

I believe that all politics is local and low turn out is a consequence of our representatives failing to engage with local people. Local residents deserve to know where you stand on important local issues. But it is a two way process that is why, in addition to producing quartley newsletters and holding regular surgeries, I will consult people on local issues and hold public meetings when necessary. I want local residents to feel valued and more inclined to take part in the democratic process. 

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