For the benefit of clarity, I do think that our local councillors deserve decent remuneration and I do not think they should be hammered just because they are "politicians". They are paid way less than the lowest pay grade and are expected to put in many hours of work and make all the very tough decisions, so this is not an attack on their pay. It is, however, a note of frustration about the allowances.
I made a cursory glance over the expenses sheet and I noticed councillors can claim £7 per month (or £84 per year and as a fund, up to £10,584) for "Broadband Allowance" which is defined as "contribution of £7 per month paid to Councillor's who are using their own home broadband facilities for DCC (Durham County Council) matters".
I can categorically say I would not claim this allowance, nor would I ever claim for Food on a matter of principle. I don't care what others say this suggests I am saying about them, I'm saying nothing against anyone, they can claim whatever they are allowed to claim and I don't judge them. I just personally wouldn't claim it. Why? Because I eat anyway. Simple. The same goes for Broadband, I get a hell of a lot out of using the Internet at home on my blogs, YouTube, Facetime to my family around the country and checking my E-Mails. I would not get rid of Broadband if I ever left elected office and if I happen to check a county council email on my home computer, I don't see why this should entitle me to more money.
I would already be getting at least £12,000 to be a Councillor and that's pretty good and more than covers a cost of what is almost an essential service we use anyway at home. What's next? Being able to get your shopping and utility bills covered if you ate whilst reading a DCC email or writing a letter? The only time this would be acceptable would be if a Councillor had no Internet to begin with, I'd be fine with that. Interestingly, I noted two Councillors I know very well got a Broadband line put into their home having not had any Internet previously and they have claimed £0! Well done to them.
The system should not allow claims of this nature. It plays right into the hands of the anti-political mob who will note this also and see it as a backhand way of getting extra expenses. By the way, feel free to hold me to this in the future if I am fortunate enough to ever be elected. You won't need to remind me.