Burntwood councillor “not fussed” at prospect of allowance being cut for missing more than a quarter of meetings

A Burntwood councillor has admitted he is “not fussed” by seeing his allowance docked for missing more than a quarter of meetings – and said his record was good by singer Meatloaf’s standards.

Any members of Lichfield District Council who miss 75% of meetings face having the equivalent of a month’s worth of allowance docked.

The move is designed to combat poor attendance by councillors, an issue which came under the spotlight again after it emerged that just 13 out of 47 turned up to an annual meeting on social housing matters.

Cllr Richard Mosson

Cllr Richard Mosson

But in an email to colleagues seen by LichfieldLive, Conservative Councillor Richard Mosson said he was unconcerned by the possible docking of his annual £4,090 basic allowance – but added he may now only do “the minimum requirement” as a result.

“I am not really fussed about losing the month’s allowance,” he wrote.

“As a high rate tax payer like others it makes a very small allowance even smaller. So it does not bother me other than for those occasions where I have stressed and rushed from wherever I have been in the UK to get to a crazy 6pm meeting time a couple of minutes late or just about bang on time.

“I don’t think I’ll bother in future and simply ensure I make the minimum requirement.”

Figures from 2015/16 show that Cllr Mosson picked up allowances of £6,279.53 for the various elements of his role on the council.

But in his email, Cllr Mosson, who represents the Summerfield and All Saints ward, objected to being “named and shamed”.

He explained: “Having had 71% attendance myself I don’t see this as half bad considering the commitment I and others have to make while holding down a full time day job. That’s just over seven out of ten meetings in my book.

“Even Meatloaf said two our of three weren’t [sic] bad – that’s 66.6%.

“Despite trying my best as others who work have clearly done in just failing to hit 75%, I am now to be named and shamed in the local media. Thanks for that, well done Lichfield District Council.”

The offices of Lichfield District Council. Pic: Lichfield District Council

The offices of Lichfield District Council. Pic: Lichfield District Council

Cllr Mosson told LichfieldLive that his email to colleagues had highlighted issues with the system used to measure the attendance of elected representatives.

“There is a major difference in the number of meetings that each of us have to attend,” he said. “For example those on the planning committee have to attend a much higher number of meetings.

“I sit on planning as well as two other committees and have attended 17 out of 24 meetings over the last year. Had I simply attended one more I would have been over the 75% threshold.

“Should I be named and shamed though? Many councillors only have to attend a few meetings per year, therefore it’s far easier to hit the 75% threshold as some will be as low as five or eight meetings in a year.

“I accept the fact that the Independent Remuneration Panel recommendation was accepted by council, However, in hindsight there should have been more thought into the mechanics of how this system works.”

Cllr Mosson added that the scheme was weighted towards those members who took on less responsibilities – and said he didn’t believe financial punishment would improve attendance at meetings.

“Many councillors work full time and in addition to Lichfield District Council commitments, many also have parish commitments, businesses to run and many of us also have families.

“The allowance is relatively small therefore the loss does not impact on me personally and my wish to be a councillor has never been about the allowance – it is simply to try and give a little back, and I sincerely hope that these allowances deducted are given to a worthy local charity or charities.

“I have suggested that in the case of those councillors who have had a high number of meetings to attend – and have just fallen short due to work or other commitments – the effectiveness of an allowance reduction at the end of year does little to increase attendance as it’s not about the money.

“Having attended a relatively high number of meetings compared to peers, this system means you can be penalised by merely sitting on the wrong committee.

“The next time the day job is calling for more of my time and it’s a choice of pleasing the boss or ensuring I hit a 75% attendance record, which I might not quite achieve anyway, then the boss wins – he pays me the salary that ultimately pays my mortgage.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

20 Comments

  1. John Griffin

    13th March, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    If he doesn’t want the job, I’m sure there are several – including me – who would not only do a better job but would have the respect for the job to do it properly.

  2. A Better Burntwood

    13th March, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Well said John! I wholeheartedly agree. If he doesn’t want to fulfil the duties he was elected to, then get rid of him!

    Please remember this is the guy that got the Burntwood Chairmanship took away form him by his own party!!!

    Even his own people can’t get behind him. Ever since that betrayal he has become stubborn. The prime example of someone who should not hold a councillor seat.

  3. Toast

    13th March, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Cllr Richard Mosson sounds like a delightful(!) chap. If he doesn’t have the time to rush back for the ‘crazy’ 6pm meeting time, I’m sure plenty of other prospective candidates would be happy to.

    C’mon people, you elected these fruitbats, kick him out!

  4. JimBob

    13th March, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    So to summarise, “I earn loads so I don’t really care how much I attend or not”. Once a Tory, always a Tory.

  5. massive election

    13th March, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I must have missed the ceremony where Mr Mosson was ordered at gunpoint to become a councillor. #freetheburntwoodone

  6. Prat out of hell

    13th March, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    He seems to like thirds does Mosson. Like meatloaf he thinks missing that many meetings isn’t bad and that’s how much he managed to hike council tax by when he was chief busy body at Burntwood Town Council. Let’s hope he gets a third when it comes to his finishing place at the next local elections.

  7. Matt

    13th March, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Seems to have forgotten that he is supposed to be representing his constituents rather than it being just another income.

  8. John

    13th March, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    Lazy get rid

  9. Cllr Richard Mosson

    14th March, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Point 1 John Griffin – I do respect the job, things change in terms of personal commitments and I am in a different scenario than in 2015, I am 43 with a career and a family and if you want younger working people on the Council then you have to expect that situations for individuals change, I do however look forward to seeing you as a potential candidate in 2019.
    Point 2 – A better Burntwood – I have never been Chairman of Burntwood Town Council, leader yes, I stood down after 1 year due to a change in work commitments, not removed by the party as you suggest and I am not stubborn far from it, just honest enough to say this is a job for a Cllr who can apply more time.
    Point 3 – Toast, well you have your vote in 2019 cast it wisely.
    Point 4 – Jim Bob, I work hard during the day and work as hard as I can for Burntwood during evenings and weekends, I suggest checking the attendance record in terms of the number of meetings attended will tell you that I attend more than most on average.
    Point 5 – massive election, no guns please.
    Point 6 – prat out of hell, correct a third, a third increase on precept for BTC in 2016 (£10 per year on a Band D property) out of my control as the previous Council (Labour) had made this increase in 2016 inevitable due to their commitments made in the period 2011 to 2015, 2017 saw a zero increase as the reigns were applied.
    Labour also wanted to take on the parks and open spaces from LDC had they remained in control, your precept would now be even higher under Labour.

  10. Prat out of hell

    14th March, 2017 at 6:31 am

    A third is not inevitable. You made the decision on your watch. £10 for a parish council is extortionate. Don’t worry though, as a high earner who doesn’t need his allowance why would you worry about a measly £10?

    Put your money where your mouth is Mosson. If you do this for the love rather than because of the apparent pittance you receive then donate the whole lot to a charity helping people in Burntwood as God knows you never did bugger all for them as leader of Burntwood Town Council.

  11. A Better Bwood

    14th March, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Hahaha, what a smug idiot.

    It’s people like you who disgrace this town, and show the real greed of a real-tory.

    Do not deny the fact that you were removed by your party/ the council. You were. You wanted true-blue policies that did not match the interests of Burntwood. You are stubborn. You show little interest in trying to better Burntwood.
    You’ve claimed you have attended more than the average, but you don’t say much. You sit there, state an obvious fact then remain quiet.

    You are useless, and proud of it. You have no right to represent the people.

  12. Adam Elsdon

    14th March, 2017 at 10:50 am

    “I don’t think I’ll bother in future and simply ensure I make the minimum requirement.”
    Councillor Mosson that’s an indefensible statement, you should resign right now and the councils standards committee should be taking steps to investigate your conduct reference the content of that e-mail. You are an elected official, I am appalled at your laissez faire attitude towards your duties and the electorate you serve, as a local councillor you should be Selfless, Objective, Accountable, Open, Honest, provide Leadership and above all have some Integrity.

    This was also an email sent to your colleagues, people that mix in the same circles with the same attitudes who would sympathise or agree with your personal situation and view point.
    Fortunately not everybody did, and it has given us a true insight into the workings of the Conservatives on this Council.

  13. John Griffin

    14th March, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    As a 65 year old who still works and has grandchildren to look after at both ends of the school day, I may well not have as much time or money. You’d be surprised how little these gilt-edged public sector pensions for 38 years teaching bring after tax. I will happily fill in for you if life is too hard, and since I work in the public sector, I’m used to being paid peanuts, so a councillor’s allowance will be fine. I would also be happy to stand, except we have a perfectly good candidate who will take the job seriously.

  14. CitizenKane

    14th March, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Maybe the citizens of Burntwood should petition LDC Council Leader to remove Cllr Mosson on the grounds that he is ‘not fussed’ and,therefore, not fully representing his constituents. I assume there is a process for removing a Councillor within the rules of LDC.

  15. Steve Norman

    14th March, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    All I am going to say as one of the Labour candidates for the new ward of Summerfield and All Saints in 2015 is that I was the only councillor prior to the election NOT to support the change from 6:30pm to 6pm meetings.
    Actually I’ll also say that if you take on extra responsibility as I did at district and County levels in the past you have to fit it in with your employment. It’s not easy but if you volunteer for extra commitments …

  16. Rob

    14th March, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Looks like being a councillor is more suitable for people with plenty of free time on their hands who enjoy talking a lot, and not an easy fit for those with busy jobs and greater responsibilities.

  17. RobbieHorrorShow

    14th March, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Sounds like you’ve got the perfect credentials for the job as a councillor then Rob. Time on your hands to talk rubbish. Yep, you’re the man alright.

  18. Rob

    14th March, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Yet another mystery poster with a silly name to raise the standards.
    Truly blessed.

  19. RobbieHorrorShow

    14th March, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Yes, because Rob is clearly identifiable.

    #gotanibbleontheline

  20. Rob

    14th March, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    At least there’s only one of me.
    #gotaDIDontheline

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