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Powys County Hall.

What a barmy contradiction!

Powys is, geographically, the largest county in Wales – with the smallest population. It habitually receives the least extra cash in the annual settlement from the Welsh Assembly.

As a result, it struggles to provide services – partly because private companies that carry out many of those services assume local authorities have money to burn and charge accordingly (I had that from a council officer).

It must be true, the reasoning runs, because just look at the salaries paid to the council’s chief officers.

And salaries paid to chief officers are high because if they weren’t on a par with richer councils, nobody would even offer to do the job.

So everyone with a chance to demand more is on the take – and who can blame them in these uncertain times?

And public services suffer.

But the only reason we pay our taxes – council tax, income tax, and any other tax that feeds into local authority budgets – is to receive public services.

But (again) we can’t withhold our tax money on the grounds that these services are being withheld from us, because that is a crime and we would be fined at the very least (thereby giving more money into the pot).

Whatever happens, we lose. And this will continue as long as public servants are paid £55 for doing nothing at all.

Incoming Powys chief executive Dr Caroline Turner, has been given a cash boost worth more than £25,000 by Powys councillors.

This will be on top of her salary of £138,000 a year.

At the Full PCC meeting on Thursday, January 24, councillors had to appoint Dr Turner to … statutory roles [including] election returning officer.

There are five sets of fees, some of which are set by external bodies:

Parliamentary elections fees which are set at Westminster – £2,685 for Brecon and Radnorshire and £2,500 for Montgomeryshire.

Welsh Assembly election fees of £4,730 for Brecon and Radnorshire and for Montgomeryshire it’s £4,730.

Elections for Police and Crime Commissioner (set by the Police and Crime Commissioner Board) – £2,870 for Brecon and Radnorshire and £2,574 for Montgomeryshire.

European Elections (which may not happen again) – £5,952.

Local Government elections £110 per contested ward and £55 per uncontested ward.

Source: POWYS: New Chief Executive gets over 25k payment boost | County Times

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