Last year Suffolk’s Tory administration made extra payments (Special Responsibility Allowances or SRAs) to 48 out of 75 Suffolk county councillors. So, not very special then.
And with 82% (32 of 39) Tory county councillors getting a SRA, it seems a (Conservative) councillor had to be rather special NOT to get one.
In December’s full council meeting, I tabled a question asking the Leader of Suffolk County Council how he could justify this sharp rise in allowance payments to members of his group at a time of continuing belt-tightening? I didn’t get a very clear answer except that the councillors in question ‘worked very hard’. No doubt. As do many other colleagues, without extra reward.
Coincidentally, in April, Suffolk County Council stopped printing individual bus timetables to save money.
Or as Cllr Finch, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport put it succinctly:
"we have been actively promoting digital methods of accessing bus times using on-line journey planning, mobile apps and Real Time Passenger Information. We have now reached the point where we will no longer be printing the twenty different timetables to give to customers. The final print run will be in April. After this time we will be signposting customers to www.suffolkonboard.com where they will be able to download or print their own timetables and use the comprehensive journey planner"
Cllr Finch and his advisers seem to live in a world where everybody has easy access to libraries , computers, smartphones, printers, apps. Sadly not all bus users live in this world.
Unsurprisingly, his decision has had a bad effect on a lot of people, but particularly on the elderly, including many Woodbridge residents. I have been passing on their comments – often in video form – to Cllr Finch ever since.
Very coincidentally, Suffolk’s Conservative administration expected to save £50,000 this year by not printing bus timetables for people who really needed them – the same amount of money that they spent on additional special responsibility allowances for Conservative councillors.
Don’t you think its time the Tories on Suffolk County Council reviewed their priorities?