David Key (CP letters, 26-03-21) suggests work done by councillors does not provide value for money for the community.

I wish to remind him that councillors, whatever their political persuasion, are elected by local people to represent their communities and to assist in the process of local government.

In his letter Mr Key says the total allowances for the 40 elected IW Councillors amounts to £486,000 per annum.

I am sure that that figure would increase considerably if paid officers were employed to carry out the work we do.

An independent panel recommends the level of allowances each year.

The basic allowance for IW councillors is now £8,231, up from £7,903 in 2010, meaning it has increased by only 4.6 per cent over 11 years.

Many of us work from home at no cost whatsoever to the council, bringing skills and experience from all walks of life which enables us to make a meaningful contribution to the administration of the Island. From our allowances we pay for our own electricity, phone bills, internet, printers, stationery and so on.

My primary motive for being a councillor is public service; the allowance covers my expenses and provides some compensation for the hours that I work, many of them in the evenings and at weekends.

Some councillors, like me, have retired from their working or business careers; others manage to fit in their Council work around their day jobs; or they do so as well as running a business. They especially, should be recognised for the time and effort they put in to serve our community.

The increase in council tax about which Mr Key complains is due to fiscal demands which have been compounded by the pandemic.

If Mr Key would like to stand for election to the Isle of Wight Council, he would discover the amount of work required of councillors and have the opportunity to air his views on how to fund the provision of public services in the council chamber where the budget is annually debated.

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