Simply champion: Cambridgeshire’s ‘famous five’ explain what they’ve done to merit their extra £5,000 a year

PUBLISHED: 16:25 27 October 2017

Wisbech mayor Steve Tierney who is also a county councillor and community champion: he reported on his champion role to a council committee.

Wisbech mayor Steve Tierney who is also a county councillor and community champion: he reported on his champion role to a council committee.

Archant

They’re paid an extra £5,000 a year and their appointments have been heavily criticised by opposition councillors,

County councillor Lis Every who outlined some of her work as a county area champion to a council committee. County councillor Lis Every who outlined some of her work as a county area champion to a council committee.

They’re paid an extra £5,000 a year and their appointments have been heavily criticised by opposition councillors,

But yesterday it was all smiles as they stepped into the spotlight to produce their first reports.

Cambridgeshire County Council community champions – there’s five of them – will report regularly on progress even though one has already quit because of pressure of his other work.

At the community and partnership meeting (October 26) some of the newly appointed champions fed back on the range of work they’ve been involved with since they were appointed two months ago.

In Fenland Councillor Steve Tierney explained how he has been working to contact each town and parish council in the district and had held discussions about issues to do with rural homelessness.

He also said he had been working with volunteering organisations and setting up a conversational Lithuanian class for English speakers to build better links with Lithuanian residents who now make up around 10 per cent of the population

“This isn’t aiming to get people to be fluent but so that they can have a chat and break down barriers,” he said. “If it works I want to roll it out to cover other languages.”

In East Cambs Councillor Lis Every said she had started work on a database of parish councillors willing to act as community ambassadors and had delivered two school assemblies on the subject of diversity.

She said she had supported work in schools across her district for Faith Week and had worked with Rosmini Centre, Wisbech, to deliver a hate crime and vulnerability forum for both Littleport and Ely.

The five champions also include Councillor Adele Costello for Huntingdonshire as a replacement for Councillor David Wells who stood down because of work commitments.

On Facebook Councillor Susan Van de Ven, Lib Dem, said that “no light is shed on why area champions are actually needed - or why they need to be paid a handsome sum from the public purse.

“Never mind that we’re in a crisis state of austerity.

“I also received an informal response from the chairman of the new committee who created the area champion roles, alluding to his personal need for greater remuneration to justify his work load.

“He now receives £18,372 per year, just to chair the committee on which the five champions sit; each paid a special allowance of £5,000. The vice chairman is paid £7,927. This is now the council’s most costly committee, and the value it brings to delivering public services to Cambridgeshire residents is, well, not clear.

“This is a council looking inward, not at the people outside.”

3 comments

  • Hang on didn't Steve Terrrorist famously say he wouldn't take a pay rise for his CCC work - or am I just imagining it. These people are the tip of an iceberg of shameful bullsh***sm, they only care for their communities if a £ sign is dangling. People of Cambridgeshire remember these shameful events when you have to elect your councillors for Parish, District and County.

    Report this comment

    contramundum

    Saturday, October 28, 2017

  • We’re certainly not all in this together.

    Report this comment

    Grumpy2

    Saturday, October 28, 2017

  • All county councillors should be 'champions' of and for their communities without a select few being paid £5,000 a year extra for doing what their colleagues ought to do all of the time. (It looks as though Mr Tierney, of Wisbech, has paid out for a sharp new suit. Put bluntly, I wouldn't be seen dead in such a sharp suit: it doesn't suit him and it certainly wouldn't suit me).

    Report this comment

    Geoffrey Woollard

    Friday, October 27, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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