At issue with the numbers

I am responding to the letter from Chris Lawson. Having met Mr Lawson on a number of occasions I am surprised that his letter should contain inaccuracies that he could have so easily checked.

He states that, of the 20 Conservative county councillors on East Sussex County Council, nine are also serving Wealden District councillors – the correct figure is three of which I am one. He also seems to be confused, which is surprising given his knowledge of the organisations, between the Wealden Parliamentary Constituency, which is covered by the Wealden Conservative Association, and the area of Wealden District Council which covers a wider area.

For clarity there are two additional district councillors who are also county councillors but they are not in the Wealden constituency and are not Conservatives.

Mr Lawson further states that Wealden councillors can claim up to £10k a year in expenses.

This is again untrue. Councillors can only claim for expenses directly associated with their duties and the vast majority of such expenses are for mileage in line with HMRC guidelines. Councillors do receive an allowance of £4,257 a year, which is taxable.

I trust Mr Lawson does not confuse expenses and taxable payments in his own business.

For Mr Lawson to suggest that we are “doing it for money” is untrue and offensive given his knowledge of the work completed by councillors in serving their residents.

My role as Leader of the district council and the achievements in that role were fully explained in my election literature and having achieved 66% of the vote and almost five times the vote of the next candidate, it appears the electorate do not agree with Mr Lawson.

The leaders of neighbouring authorities in Eastbourne (LibDem), Rother (Con) and Hastings (Lab) are also East Sussex county councillors.

Bob Standley

Leader of Wealden Council