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Day: August 30, 2012

Should councillors get expenses tied to the average annual salary of their ward?

Claire Bibby thinks so. Who is Claire Bibby I hear you ask and why should we care what she thinks? Well she was an independent candidate in May for the Southchurch ward here in Southend and she got just beaten out in the last result of the evening. Well she has blogged on councillors expenses and you can read her views here but for those who can’t be bothered it is basically attacking councillors for having too many expenses and with a focus on the portfolio holders. Fair enough one might think but one thing really stood out to me:

The Tax Payers Alliance will be investigating councillors expenses, as the Tax Payers Alliance believe the expenses given to councillors are far too much, and the role of the local councillors is about providing a community service and should not come with expenses more than the average salary of the area they represent.

Err…come again?

So councillors in a more prosperous area such as say Thorpe Bay where both Claire and myself live and we can be honest here – the councillors do not have anywhere near as many issues as say Kursaal or Westborough councillors but councillors here in Thorpe Bay should be paid more than the Kursaal or Westborough councillors? That is to be frank a very scary proposition in my eyes. Why should councillors expenses be tied to the average salary that they represent? It would be saying that some councillors are worth more money than others – and whilst that is probably true as some councillors do work far harder than others – it should not be linked to the area that they represent and certainly not the councillors in richer areas having a larger expenses packet.

Expenses are there to ensure that councillors are not out of pocket for work they do linked to their council work. So for example help with travel costs going to see people, phone calls and the like. Now I don’t think I’m shocking anyone here when I say that councillors in certain areas have more work than others. There are more issues in certain areas. That is just the way it is but to link the average annual salary to their expenses allowances? Madness.

Councillors expenses should be scrutinised closely but councillors should not be out of pocket for work that they do. A councillor knows that they are going to give up time for their council work – that is part of the deal but they don’t need to be spending money out of their pocket. They get an allowance to cover these costs therefore they shouldn’t be out of pocket. If you change the way these calculations are made then you’ll get councillors trying to get the ‘premier’ wards financially and possibly leaving the less well-of wards with councillors who won’t work as hard and put the hours in because they’ll be out of pocket – and that is a scary thought.

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A cream that makes a woman’s vagina ‘feel like a virgin’ again – I expected more uproar/debate…

I have flicked through Lib Dem Blogs and I can’t believe that no-one has blogged about the new vagina cream that tightens the vagina yet. It is a real story it was on the good old BBC. Of course they may have blogged about it when it first hit the news-wire in early August but I don’t recall seeing it anywhere there. I was forwarded the link yesterday asking for my views and I must say my initial reaction was that I didn’t know what to think. I certainly wanted to know what others thought of it though.

I think I’ll start with the advert…

Hmm…

Now I’m no expert in sex and what surrounds it but I’m pretty sure no daughter is going to dance around in front of their parents singing about how they feel like a virgin thanks to taking a new cream that tightens up their vagina. That just doesn’t seem to be what a daughter would do. I might of course be wrong but I think I’m got this one right.

As for whether the cream works well that is also a worrying aspect. I’m pretty sure anything that involves making changes to the muscles in the vagina area is probably not a healthy thing. So is this cream just a placebo or does it actually make changes to a woman’s lady parts?

Lastly this cream is clearly not aimed at women. It is aimed at men to get their partners to use it and make the whole experience more pleasurable for them. The women that I know well enough to have talked this over with have all basically said the same thing – it hurts the first time. None of them would go back to having sex in that same scenario so this cream is not for the women to enjoy the experience more. It is for the men.

Of course this isn’t just a physical thing as it is also a society thing. In India where the cream is out now the average age that women are losing their virginity has gone from 22.9 to just 19 in just the past twelve years. That is a pretty big change and shows that changes are going on but the question is whether attitudes are changing as well. That I am not sure but having a cream that will make you feel like a virgin again. I’m just not too sure about that.

A couple of people that I have talked to about this say it is no big deal and one said that it was ‘just like buying anti-wrinkle cream’.

I just don’t know what to think but I am sure there are some hefty opinions out there one way or the other…

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