I write in response to remarks made by councillor James Butcher, covered in the Herald on February 26.
At the Adur District Council full meeting on February 19, he seemed to get confused between matters relating to his own council and those concerning West Sussex County Council.
Incongruously, he embarked upon a bizarre rant about me costing West Sussex taxpayers £23,741 in the year to March 31, 2014. Well, to allay James’s confusion, let’s clarify things from the county council, which is fully controlled by his own Tory chums, of course.
In that year, the leader of the Liberal Democrat party cost us £24,635, the Labour leader £26,377, and I, as leader of the largest opposition group, UKIP, came in an economical third at £23,741.
Cabinet members (all Conservatives) cost the county up to £36,609 each, the Conservative deputy leader £38,105 and the Conservative leader £44,774.
West Sussex also has seven district and borough councils and, of course, the whole edifice costs taxpayers money.
Democracy does come with a price tag, but is that price too high? Yes, in UKIP’s view. That is why I tabled a motion at the county council last year to merge the eight councils across West Sussex into one streamlined unitary authority, saving up to £20m per year.
And what was the reaction from Mr Butcher’s Tory chums? Every one of them voted against it.
Anyway, if James would like to join me at County Hall one day, perhaps he can come and explain his dissatisfactions to the Conservative leader over there.
In Parliament – I don’t know if James is aware – the Prime Minister actually earns the same as the opposition leader. On that basis, perhaps James would like to ask the county council leader to reduce her allowances down to my much more modest level. I’m sure she would value his advice.
Meanwhile, he might also like to enlighten readers as to how much taxpayers’ money he receives himself in his ‘daytime job’, working for an MP at Westminster.
Your call, Jimmy…
West Sussex County Council and parliamentary candidate East Worthing and Shoreham
Offington Gardens Worthing
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