MP’s pay­ments start a po­lit­i­cal de­bate

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOURVIEWS - >Mark Ed­wards >@PT Mark Ed­wards

Peter­bor­ough MP Fiona Onasanya says she is putting her money where her mouth and will pay £800 from her MP’s salary to­wards bulky waste col­lec­tions in parts of Peter­bor­ough. It’s not clear yet how long she in­tends to main­tain the pay­ments and she is work­ing on al­ter­na­tive means to en­sure the ad­di­tional col­lec­tions are made. Many will see it as a noble ges­ture that is rarely seen in politi­cians ... pay­ing to solve a prob­lem them­selves while they work on a long term so­lu­tion. Oth­ers will see it as naive, start­ing some­thing it might be dif­fi­cult to main­tain. It cer­tainly won’t be the an­swer to many prob­lems that are brought to Miss Onasanya by con­stituents - un­less she has ac­cess to funds we don’t know about. Cer­tainly ex­pect­ing politi­cians at any level to start dip­ping into per­sonal funds to sort out what they see as ur­gent is­sues is a trend that is un­likely to catch on lo­cally or na­tion­ally. Coun­cil bud­gets are be­ing cut, ser­vices are be­ing stream­lined and, in many cases, charges are be­ing made for things which used to be done for noth­ing. Find­ing cre­ative ways to tackle th­ese is­sues - like get­ting business sup­port and spon­sor­ship is a laud­able idea.

But whether you see Miss Onasanya’s fi­nan­cial ges­ture as a gim­mick and po­lit­i­cal pos­tur­ing or as a self­less and gen­er­ous so­lu­tion from a new politi­cian who gen­uinely wants to do good... there’s no ar­gu­ment that her de­ci­sion is putting the issue into very sharp fo­cus and, at least in the short term, some­thing is be­ing done about an issue which trou­bles many.

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