CHANGES will allow unelected members of the public co-opted on the council committees to claim more public money in the New Year.

Unelected voting members are already paid up to £256 a day if meetings they attend last for more than four hours. Under new rules they could receive the full rate even if the meeting finishes in under four hours.

Travelling time to and from the place of the meeting can be included in claims for payments made by co-opted members, up to the maximum of the daily rate. Co-opted members who chair committees are paid £256 for meetings that last over four hours. Shorter meeting attract the “half day” fee of £128. For ordinary co-opted committee members, the fees are £198 and £99 respectively.

The potential cost to Caerphilly council after these changes is £24,340. With 22 local authorities in Wales, the potential cost to taxpayers could be in the region of £535,480. You really couldn’t make these things up. At a time when public services are facing swingeing cuts and when food banks by poorer members of the community is rocketing. Many will find it astonishing that more money is being channelled to these unelected committee members.

No doubt these people will come from the ranks of the dominant local party. Who then will stand for that party in future elections? The saying “Jobs for the boys”, come to mind.

Andrew Nutt Heolddu Road Bargoed