A Tradition of Public Service

08:20 Thursday 28th June 2012
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

DOREEN MURRAY FORMER COUNCILLOR: I was a councillor for almost twelve months before I was told I should claim expenses. And I said I’m not in here to claim expenses, I’m in here to make things better for people around me. Because my son was born partially sighted, and I saw the way things weren’t being done for them. So many things within the community needed doing. And I was approached three times by the Conservatives to run for them. And then I looked around, and my son said to me Mum, you’re always saying you want to help people out. This is your opportunity. So that’s why I became a councillor. I never, ever drew expenses. The only expenses I drew was for my telephone bill, because it never stopped. And I am absolutely disgusted. Because where everything went downhill with the Council is when councillors started to get a wage. They joined the Council not to make things better. They joined it because it’s a gravy train. And Charlie (Swift) saying that it was a traditional thing to get sandwiches. That’s rubbish. I never ever. The only time you got a cup of tea was when the Mayor would invite us into the Parlour. And that was it. I get very upset about it all. You’ve got some good people within, but you’ve also got an adminstration that really needs kicking out. And everything starts at the top. It starts with the Head of the Council. And things need changing, and I think councillors should start giving up the wage that they’re getting, and give it to charity. Because it’s needed more for charitable causes. Charlie (Swift) is a good guy. I like Charlie. He’s worked hard for his community, and that’s why he’s still a councillor. I think it’s immoral. I get very upset when I know how much money that they’re getting, the councillors, and they’re getting advisors who are earning salaries, to advise them. Why should they need people to advise them? Go out in the community. Knock on doors. Find out is there anything you want. That’s what Jack Rigby and I used to do. Every Saturday morning we did a walkabout in Orton Longueville. Everybody knew us. We asked, is there any problems? What’s needed? You don’t need advisers. The public are your advisers. Listen to them.