Friday, October 22, 2010

Democracy Day Success?

Jeff Dutton, Chairman of HDC, writes in both local papers to inform the public of the success of "Democracy Day". We are informed by Jeff that The Rotary Club turned up and the charities that Jeff is supporting this year.

The main question for me is: "How many members of the public actually turned up?" That is the crux of Democracy Day. How many members of the public (not those officially invited or pressured to come along) turned up to Democracy Day to view Pathfinder House and take part. This was held between 10am and 3pm. Hardly conducive to the working population and seems aimed at the retired population than the population as a whole. The answer is not given!

Jeff Dutton's letter goes on about part of his role being to raise money for charity.
Except I looked up the Council Constitution to find out whether this is listed in the Council's Constitution I found something different.
Nowhere in the Constitution (can be checked here) does it say anything about "raising money for charity" as being part of the role for Chairman. I'm happy if the Chairman wants to put in hard work into organising the raising money for Charity. That is not the case. These amounts are being raised by Council employees organising these charity events as part of their jobs. It could very well be that it is costing the Council Taxpayer £20,000 - £30,000 to raise £10,000 for charity. Wouldn't it be cheaper for the Council to just donate money to charity rather than spending far more to raise such a small amount.
So the Chairman doesn't raise money for Charity. The vast majority of work is completed by paid employees of the District Council. In the times of austerity I wonder whether this costly service to the Chairman should carry on!

1 comment:

Ste said...

The letter I had published in the Hunts Post prompted someone looking up Jeff's claims in the 2009/10 accounts, (HDC website) and I think from memory he claimed around £1,400 in travelling expenses. As you noted he said that a "large part" of his "role as Chairman" included raising money for charity.

Point One. Jeff became Chairman in May 2010. Point 2. His expenses claim of £1,400 was for 2009/10, ie BEFORE he became Chairman. So his argument is flawed.