CLLR Clewer seems to have difficulty with maths (November 2). He says that the largest increase in councillors’ allowances is £2,500 but, in your original article about these, you stated that Cllr Thorn’s would go from £1,500 to £6,000 which, by my calculation, is an increase of £4,500; not far off double £2,500.
He also says that no councillor received an increase of 200 per cent or 400 per cent, which is technically true, as Cllr Thorn’s is 300 per cent.
He also appears to be trying to justify the increases yet, under Wiltshire Council’s pay policy, “as one of a number of cost-saving measures”, most employees haven’t received an annual increment for two years, so what makes councillors so special? 
Whilst the total extra cost may only (if ‘only’ is the right word) be just over £17,000 and hardly significant in the great scheme of things, it’s the principle: councillors should not be paying themselves more whilst continuing to cut services because “there are no funds to pay for them”. 
How many potholes, for example, would £17,000 fix, saving some of the huge sum spent on compensation payments?
Cllr Clewer says he spends over 40 hours a week as a councillor and cabinet member but that’s his choice; I’m sure he wasn’t forced into the job.
No-one is suggesting that councillors shouldn’t be recompensed for their time; however, this has to be coupled with affordability and, at the moment, we can’t afford.
We don’t pay our ever-rising council tax (up four per cent in 2016/2017 and five per cent in 2017/2018) so a select few can gain, whilst the rest of us receive less and less for our money each year.
Maybe Wiltshire Council should adopt the French motto: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Councillors are definitely taking liberties; there’s certainly no equality, and fraternity has, obviously, long since gone.
The Orchard