Baysy axes free threads

RATEPAYERS will no longer pay to clothe Bayswater councillors.

Following last week’s story (“Self-paid suits Fleeton,” Voice, December 12, 2015) the council voted to dump its clothing allowance, worth up to $1000 each per year (that’s $11,000 for all elected members).

Only mayor Barry McKenna and Crs Alan Radford and John Rifici wanted to keep the allowance. Cr Radford says the allowance should stay as not all elected members have nice threads: “The only suit I had when I was elected was the one I used at my wedding,” he told colleagues. “So I did buy a suit. It’s like a uniform, and you do have to try to look neat.”

Deputy mayor Stephanie Coates admitted to not owning what is considered proper attire for meetings when first elected.

But she says she never once slapped ratepayers with her shopping bills. In fact, she’d prefer the council “relax dress standards because it’s not what you wear, but what you say”.

Cr Chris Cornish said he’d now ask the council to also get rid of the allowance for phones, tablets, shredding machines and filing cabinets. He says councillors already receive $2400 to spend on those things as part of their “telecommunications” allowance.

Despite being given more than a week to respond to last week’s questions, the council has failed to supply details to Voice readers about councillors’ clothing claims covering the past two years.

by EMMIE DOWLING

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