As an employee of the NHS who stood as an Independent candidate in
Denton South in last year's local elections and who continues to
personally finance my ongoing campaign out of my own pocket:
I find it disgusting that the Labour Councillors can fund their
election campaigns using the public purse - taken out of their
councillor’s allowances through the payroll system – especially during
a period of cuts in jobs and services!
It is wrong for elected councillors to donate money to their local
party out of public money in order to pay for leaflets and other
election expenses. I can recall a time when the political parties
would have to hold Jumble Sales, Cheese and Wine Evenings and other
events in order to raise the funds needed to fight elections!
52 Labour Councillors each donating £55 a month amounts to a colossal
£34,320 a year. Is it any wonder then that the Labour Party can afford
the glossy coloured glamour leaflets that they put out across Tameside
in every election?
Meanwhile, I believe that Tameside Council's Deputy Leader Councillor
John Taylor must by now have been on the council for at least 29
years? As a single term for a councillor is only four years this means
that Councillor Taylor has already had seven consecutive terms in
office; whilst many other Tameside councillors have also now served
many multiple terms. How is this possible?
One could be forgiven for thinking that to be constantly re-elected;
each of these councillors must have either the charisma of JFK, the
principles of Mahatma Ghandi or the Wisdom of Solomon. In reality
however, it is because the lack of any real opposition over the years
has created in many Tameside wards the equivalent of a one-party
state. This in turn allows councillors to remain in office for as long
as they wish, accountable solely to their own party members and not to
I believe that councillors should serve limited terms in office. After
all, and with the greatest respect, what can Councillor Taylor do in
the next four years that he hasn’t been able to do in the previous
twenty-eight? Even the President of the United States - with all the
awesome responsibilities that go with that position - can only have
two terms in office; whilst in ancient republican Rome public
officials could only serve a single year at any one time to prevent
any corruption and misuse of power.
All the political parties should be constantly giving new people and
new ideas a chance, instead of having politicians who will just
continue clinging to their positions until they either die or are
forced out of office!
Denton South Independent
24th May 2013