Staggering exes

I have been reliably informed by East Devon District Council that no decision whether to proceed with building the Strand Pavilion will be issued until at least October.

What an utter shambles this under-costed, ill-conceived, vanity project has become!

I would suggest that, rather than let this project run longer than the play The Mousetrap, they just give up the idea and give in to the swell of overwhelming local public opinion and do not build it.

This might be a good time to mention councillors allowances. Some Devon county councillors took over a staggering �30,000 last financial year in expenses, according to the list on their website.

The basic allowance is �10,970.04 for Devon county councillors. A number of East Devon Councillors took over �10,000. The basic allowance is �4,359.96.

Some councillors are on East Devon and Devon County Council and claim for each Council they are on.

Some people would argue whether these sums are morally right to take, in the light of cutbacks and recession.

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One councillor told me, by way of defence, that he was responsible for a �100 million pound budget. Is that what we imagine councillors are for? Some people might be deeply concerned that a councillor has that amount of responsiblity of tax payers’ money.

The town councillors’ allowances, by comparison, are next to nothing and I am told, allegedly, no one claims anyway.

So, in financial terms, there are clear distinctions/benefits depending on what level of councillor you want to be.

Some people might say the way the Strand building project has been run, Homer Simpson could have done a better job.

Me, I couldn’t possibly tell!

Richard Benford

(via email).