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Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Loose Ends

Chris Black sends his comments on the great Golden Goodbye saga:- "I've now served 19 years on Rochford District Council and I'm still a mere 44-45 tomorrow! Anyway the idea of being paid £20,000 to give up the Council disturbed me. To begin with, it follows the trend nowadays that anyone who tries to help their community must be slightly cranky if they're not being paid a lot. Secondly, you'd get younger people involved if Councillors had more powers to actually do things quickly and spent less time on Comprehensive Performance Assessments etc. Finally, I was disturbed because £20,000 was actually b----- tempting - I could put it towards my pension, or pay for my son's university education someday. Even so, for me to voluntarily give up working in my ward would be like forsaking a much-loved garden, being barred from my favourite pub and having to change my religion and football club all in one night! I hope we never get offered this in Essex!" I know how he feels. His comments underline the absurdity of this policy and in particular the fact that it is not directed at pensioners as was the original intention. Six out of nine Councils have now rejected the scheme. Two more were voting today but I have been in meetings all day and am now in Wrexham and have not had a chance to ascertain how they voted.

It seems that this Blog may be jinxed. No sooner do I predict that there will be elections in Northern Ireland on 26 November than Tony Blair emerges from talks to say that they cannot reach agreement. I am not however cancelling my trip over there on 24 November to help out the Alliance Party just yet.

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