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Cambridgeshire councillor Donald Adey to give up part of his allowances





Errant Cambridgeshire councillor Donald Adey will give up part of his allowances after heavy criticism when it emerged he was the only county councillor not to do so in solidarity with workers facing cuts.

Cllr Adey, who moved to live 400 miles away from his Trumpington ward to live in Cupar, Fife, was branded a “parasite” this month when it was revealed he was the only county councillor not to voluntarily give up part of his allowances in solidarity with council staff.

Staff at Cambridgeshire County Council had three days leave imposed on them over the Christmas period as the council struggled with funds.

In a motion to full council, it was agreed all councillors would give up part of their allowances in solidarity. All but one of the councillors did so, with Cllr Adey, who rarely attends council meetings, and whose colleagues say does no work, being the only one to keep his whole payment.

After failing to get a response from Cllr Adey, who represents Trumpington on both Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridge City Council, The Local Democracy Reporting Service travelled to Fife to speak to Cllr Adey in person.

Now, Cllr Adey says he has agreed to give up part of his allowances after all, though he still maintains there are bigger problems in the local government system.

Cllr Adey said: “I have today asked officers at the county to arrange for the same per cent reduction from allowances, that other members have generally accepted.

“As I commented to you the root of the problem with local Government finance, the extreme lack of it, is both in Cambridgeshire the cut, cut mentality of the Tories, even before Mrs Thatcher came to power, and in more recent years self-imposed austerity from national Government.

“Forcing staff onto unpaid leave is no sustainable answer….more an act of desperation.”

It was also revealed this week that the leaders of Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridge City Council, Steve Count and Lewis Herbert, had written a joint letter to the government calling for a change in the law to prevent councillors living so far away from their wards in the future.

The letter accused Cllr Adey of “twisting the system” so he could continue claiming his allowances (more than £14,000 a year from both councils).

Cllr Adey said asking for a change in the law to remove a serving councillor could be a “dangerously authoritarian step”.

“Like much UK electoral law, changes are overdue,” said Cllr Adey. “It is a pity that they do not raise the far more important issue of scrapping First Past The Post elections for local Government in England.

“Asking a Sec of State to seek powers to remove individual Cllrs could be a dangerous authoritarian step.”



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