ELECTION: Commitment is the key

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I read with interest the letter from Jeff Maughan (News Guardian, April 7), regarding the forthcoming local elections.

The increases in councillors’ allowances at a time when councils are having to find savings was short-sighted and unpopular with the electorate.

However, the notion that North Tyneside’s Labour-controlled council did this to encourage interest from a higher calibre of applicants wishing to stand in the local council elections is debatable.

Any person wishing to put themselves forward, whether a sitting councillor or coming into this for the first time, irrespective of what the remuneration package is, should have a calling for this, be passionate for the ward they choose to represent, and have a wide range of personal and practical knowledge and skills of the local political scene.

But above all, regardless of the monetary reward, they should want to do this for the right reasons of representing residents, taking forward new, progressive initiatives and tirelessly working within the ward, together with having a constant attendance record at meetings and committees and a 100 per cent commitment of time and energy into wanting to make a difference to the lives of residents, prospering businesses and the environment.

The area is full of people who give their time freely, without remuneration, to many worthy and necessary voluntary organisations, and the recent increase in councillors’ allowance must have tested their loyalty and commitment.

Don’t forget to use the vote we have on May 5.

Heather Carr

Whitley Bay