I already touched on this in my overview of Southend Borough Council’s debate on councillors’ allowances, but there were a few councillors who utterly disgraced themselves over the course of the night.
There was, for instance, the gross spectacle of the Conservative group voting almost en masse to cling onto their taxpayer-funded printer paper and ink, because they didn’t want the aggravation of having to come into the Civic Centre to print. These being the same people happy to close care homes, sack library staff, and inflict the bedroom tax on Southend’s very poorest.
But I expect no more from them. The callous, selfish cruelty they displayed is not a new occurrence.
For me, the most unedifying event of the night was Cllr Brian Ayling, an Independent
Party Group councillor in St Luke’s ward, fighting tooth and nail not for his residents, but for his own “special responsibility allowance” as chair of one the Council’s appeals committees.