Mr.. Perrin’s blog; “A Word in Your Ear”.
THURSDAY 7th May 2020 should have been polling day for the Local Government Election, unfortunately Covid-19 has forced the election to be cancelled. As a result, Councillors who should have been standing for re-election will now have a free run for a further year, I.e. May 2021, and continue to be paid a minimum allowance of over £8000 during the year.
It cannot be said with certainty that any of the Councillors seeking re-election would have retained their seats or been defeated. The Councillors have done no campaigning, had to make no promises or tell us how they will always put the interests of the people first. In short they have just settled comfortably back into their seats and carried on.
I believe, at the very least, they should have acknowledged their good fortune and assured their constituents they would continue to work hard for them during the year. They could have done that by means of leafletting, the use of the local press and other media.
There are at least two Councillors who let it be known they would not be seeking re-election, namely Thurrock Independents Luke Spillman and Jack Duffy. I am not aware of the reason for their decisions to quit and can only assume they had other interests that would have impinged upon their ability to carry out their responsibilities as Councillors. Or could it be they were simply unwilling to put their past records as Councillors to the test of an election?
Both Mr. Spillman and Mr. Duffy do not appear to have made any statement as to their intentions, as to whether they will now continue as Councillors for another year or resign. Should they decide to continue they should make it clear that, despite any other commitment that may have prompted them to quit, they are now able to fully carry out their responsibilities as Councillors.
If they fail to give that assurance, they should not be surprised if some will view them as a couple of “pickpockets” picking the pocket of the taxpayer to the tune £8000 plus each.
Good decision to allow the present Mayor, Cllr. Picolllo, to continue as Mayor for another year. I wish him well.