Thursday, 10 February 2011

More on the Precept

Pictured: The Town Hall in healthier times.

This excellent letter was published in this week's Morley paper.

Value for money?

I had a wry and hearty chuckle at the spinning riposte from Steve Jones – a professional accountant and an amateur (unpaid) politician – regarding Morley Town Council's precept in January 26's paper.

This was in reply to a letter sent the previous week by one of his predecessors, former councillor Paul Jaimeson.

Noting that firstly, it is election year in 2011 and secondly, he didn't actually refute the analogy of the television and how it could be paid for, Coun Jones then proceeded to lecture everyone chapter and verse about how the annual precept (£175k) represented value for money for Morley residents.

Coming from a public body comprising 24 members, and only approximately 50 per cent of those members who actually pay that precept – Coun Jones himself doesn't – is pretty rich.

However, what should be of even more concern to readers and thrifty Morley residents is that now the legality of an industrial tribunal is over, how can he justify that just under 25 per cent of that £175k annual precept has been used in a pay-off for the former town clerk when her contract w
as terminated unlawfully by the council in a previous year?

Moreover, senior councillors have not denied that figure when that size of pay-off has been suggested to them either.

Could Coun Jones, who, remember, doesn't make a contribution to the precept and under whose watch this happened, call that value for money?

Finally, if there is a sizeable amount in reserves, why doesn't the council reduce the precept in these very difficult times?

Stewart McArdle

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