North Northamptonshire Council worker says they've been 'let down' by their political leaders

‘Cllr Smithers, if you do read this - We have had enough! You need to sort this out now’

Cllr Smithers speaking at Thursday's meeting
Cllr Smithers speaking at Thursday's meeting

As our local politicians pushed through a payrise – and an increase in numbers – for themselves at a North Northamptonshire council meeting this week, many onlookers were angered by what they saw.

The Northants Telegraph has spoken to several upset NNC workers and officers who are insulted at the 10 per cent rise while they may only get about two per cent in the middle of the biggest cost of living crisis for many years.

At that meeting leader Cllr Jason Smithers denied that any of his officers were brow-beaten.

One of those workers shared their hard-hitting thoughts anonymously with this newspaper after saying they were ‘disgusted’ with councillors.

“I've worked in local government for over 10 years. I genuinely love my job, and chose this sector as I believe we are helping the people of our towns and villages across my local area. This will include friends and family. So I have a vested interest in doing a good job. I'm not alone in this, many of my colleagues feel the same way.

“I haven't had what I would call a decent payrise in years. I'm not unique in this of course, many private sector people haven't too. That alone should make it clear that we are in the same boat. So to see our political leaders even having a debate about how much more money they should be getting at a full council meeting was, frankly, a kick in the stomach.

“Since we all joined up on first 1 April 2021 (trust me, many officers wish it was an April Fools joke too!), people have been jumping ship. They've had enough of the lack of support, lack of opportunities and the arrogance of, in particular, the executive, who are choosing vanity projects to get their faces in the press, over ensuring the council is supporting it's communities and staff.

"For transparency, I voted Conservative in the last election. Thankfully my councillor voted against the allowance increase.

“Local councils have never been popular. We take money from you each month and just empty your bins. Of course that isn't true, but sadly this is a common theme we see/hear everyday. We truly try to help all of society and support people you may not know about. Yes, you pay our wages. But try to remember that officers are tax payers too. We see how the executive are wasting our money. Again, we're in the same boat.

“Times are hard. People are angry and suffering. I have myself had to consider going to a foodbank in the recent months. It's dreadful. So whilst I sit here typing this, all I can picture are councillors getting an extra 10%+ in their allowances. Some are couples who will be raking it in. It's a disgrace.

“But the biggest kick in the teeth was the leader of North Northamptonshire Council when he was told officers are down-beaten. He totally denied this. He has no idea. We have had enough. So Cllr Smithers, if you do read this - We have had enough! You need to sort this out now. We are under-staffed and struggling. Not just financially, but mentally and physically.

“And to you, the people we serve. We're with you. So please, before you pick up the phone, send an email, write a comment on social media. Just think. The person who will read/listen to that is in the same boat as you. The people who don't make the decisions will get the full force of your anger. That is not right. Find your local councillor and let them know how you feel.”