Guest blog from Cllr. Richard Nicholson Leader of Thanet Council Labour Group.
"At the last Standards Committee meeting there was a vote against the payment of Lead members on Thanet Council. Cllr. Liz Green and I argued against this cynical ploy by the Tory group and reminded the committee that we already had unpaid lead members as did the Conservatives they took office in 2003.
Liz Green and I did not argue against the idea of lead members, but about the issue of paying them. I am pleased that the Independent members of the Standards Committee voted not to support payment to them.
I also suggested that if these "lead members" are to take the strain off Cabinet members, a point highlighted by Cllr. Zita Wiltshire, then the cost of lead members should come from the current cabinet allowances which are already paid to Cabinet members. This again found favour from the Labour and Independent members but was opposed by the Tories. If Cabinet members are unable to perform their duties and need help they should stand down.
I have no doubt at Full Council in May this will go through as intended by the Tories, but the Standards Committee decision is the right one. I think local people should ask Conservative councillors why they want more money and allowances, when they are already paid a basic allowance."
I would add that this should be a question for politics students at univerity. Is there anywhere else where 29 out of 34 people (85%) of the elected body who get an extra allowance? I cannot think of anywhere in the democratic world. Perhaps Thanet Counncil could twin with North Korea to compare democratic practices.
What about the 5 who do not make the grade? Will they be known as the doziest or the laziest? Maybe they will be honourable Conservatives who refuse to serve in Cllr. Ezekiel's administration because of their reservations about his conduct. Who knows?
Prediction for the Famous Five are welcome in the comment section.