A councillor is furious about his colleagues’ “miserable and mean-spirited” response when he asked them to consider making a charity donation.What, he rattled a tin under their noses and they didn’t take their hands out of our pockets long enough to stick them in their own?
Well, not quite:
Colin Olivier asked for a £300 allowance he is entitled to claim as a Brightlingsea town councillor to be sent instead to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal for drought and famine in the Horn of Africa.OK, and…?
To ensure his donation was not taxed, Mr Olivier asked the council to make the cheque out directly to charity.
Fellow councillors refused to allow this, even though it was not against any rules.Ooops!
“The other councillors suggested I could draw the money and then pay it on to the charity, but that way the charity would lose 40 per cent in tax. I was actually being hard-headed by making the suggestion.
“I think they are a miserable, mean-spirited bunch of people, telling me what I should do with my allowance.”Well, let’s be fair here – they aren’t doing that, are they? They are just saying that if you want to pay it yourself, that’s fine, but it isn’t fine to have the council cut out the middleman.
After all, if you’re that fussed about the ‘missing’ 40%, you could always make it up out of your own money, couldn’t you?
After the vote Mr Oliver said he had decided not to claim his allowance in protest at the decision.…
Oh. Right. So this vitally-important cause you’ve chosen isn’t getting any money now, while you pout like a sulky toddler in the local newspaper?
Graham Steady, one of those who voted against sending the cheque directly, said: “Sending taxpayers’ money to an overseas appeal could be misconstrued.
“The feeling was if he wanted to make a donation, he should have done so as an individual.
“I did ask whether he would be prepared to give the money to a local cause, but he declined.
“If he thinks his cause is so good, why doesn’t he bite the bullet and take the money?
“Not taking any at all is cutting off his nose to spite his face.”Well, quite! I get the feeling there isn’t a lot of love lost between Mr Olivier and the rest…
However, mayor Janet Russell said she sympathised with Mr Olivier.
She added: “Unfortunately, councillors felt if he wanted to donate the money to charity, he should accept his allowance and give what was left after tax, which was very much less.‘Very much less’..? No, actually, and he could always have made that up himself. Or you could have made a donation to cover it, if you felt it was unfair, couldn’t you?
“I felt it was wrong, and I voted with Colin, but we had to accept the majority decision.
“What he wanted was perfectly legal and, in my opinion, the other councillors should just have agreed for us to send the cheque.”Are you unaware we live in a representative democracy, love? They outnumber you, so sad, too bad.
And don’t you have any pressing council business to attend to? Is this what you do all day, grandstand over charity donations coming out of taxpayer’s money and run to the local press?
No wonder we’re in such a mess!