Monday, November 15, 2010

And what about the Town Mayor's Charities

Having had a look how the Chairman of HDC costs Council taxpayers to raise money I thought I would take a look at how much The Town Mayor costs the Council Taxpayer to raise money for his charities. I feel raising money for charity is a wonderful process. But should this cost the Council Taxpayer? So I put in a Freedom of Information request. The answer is here.

Unfortunately the Town Council hasn't been forthcoming on the actual costs of raising this money. The Town Mayor has a part-time secretary.
I feel the Town Council should look closer at the cost of raising money for Charity by the Town Mayor. As the Town Council reply puts it "these are part and parcel of the officer's routine tasks, no separate toll is made of these hours." This means the Town Council doesn't know how much it costs the Council Taxpayer to raise money for charity. Although they know it costs. For all the Town Council knows the cost of raising £4800 could cost £10000 to do.

The one part of the reply I don't understand is the following:
The Mayor's entertainment allowance (Yes he has an entertainment allowance and not to be confused with his allowance) is paid for out of Council Tax. Every time the Town Mayor hires Council facilities it is the Council Taxpayer paying for this. Indeed hiring excludes the venue from being hired by an outside person paying real cash.
The Town Mayor gets an allowance of £2830 plus a Hospitality budget of £2200 and Civic Regalia/Functions budget of £1200. Not forgetting the extra money spent from General Reserves on his new outfit.
I do feel the Town Mayor shouldn't do his work for free. But in paying the Town Mayor and other costs I feel the public should be informed of how much this all costs. The attitude seems to be to hide the costs all over the place and then come up with the final figures without the expenses. For instance: "We raised £4800 but we have excluded the £10000 it took to raise this money." This is effectively using Council Taxpayers money to subsidise the raising of money so The Town Mayor and the Town Council looks good.

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