Generally the Conservatives are pretty strong in the 200 or so district councils but Bolsover is one of a few (the others being Ashfield, Cambridge, Chesterfield, Mansfield and Oxford) which are Conservative free zones.
In the case of Bolsover it is a Labour dominated council. It also pays the highest councillor allowances of any district council in the country. Generally district councils pay more modest allowances than unitary authorities. In Bolsover there are lots of things which are the responsibility of Derbyshire County Council (libraries, roads, schools, children's social workers, adult social care).
But Bolsover pays its councillors way over the odds. The most recent figures I could find on the LGA website (from 2008) put the average of councillors allowances in shire districts at £4,194. In Bolsover it is £10,000.
It is not as if Derbyshire's other district councillors are especially greedy. Amber Valley pays £3,586, Erewash £3,903 and High Peak £2,901. Although Ashfield is rather higher at £6,195. This is according to the LGA figures.
Anyway a Green Party councillor Cllr Duncan Kerr has highlighted the discrepancy. Good for him.
Not content with extortionate levels of basic allowances nearly half the members of the Labour group have topped up their basic allowance with special allowances. As a result, member allowances now cost our tax-payers nearly half a million pounds and constitute the largest element in the £1.1M budget for Democratic Representation and Management, which accounts for nearly £1 in every £5 raised by the Council tax. That far exceeds expenditure on priorities, such as community safety, regeneration or customer focussed services. Indeed calculated per resident our member allowances cost tax-payers three times as much as they pay in Amber Valley Council.
I wonder what that outspoken scourge of fat cat greed, the local Labour MP Dennis Skinner makes of it.