It's 'poppycock' to deride volunteers, insists leading Tory

Councillor Marc Bayliss

Councillor Marc Bayliss

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

ONE of Worcester's leading politicians has defended the role of unpaid volunteers - saying it is "poppycock" to deride them.

Tory Councillor Marc Bayliss has refuted concern over the growing army of people doing traditional council work for free, insisting that society as a whole benefits from their efforts.

As your Worcester News revealed back in June, around 4,300 people now help Worcestershire County Council out by undertaking tasks like library work, cutting hedges, maintaining footpaths and driving community transport buses.

In response to unprecedented cuts in funding the council has launched a marketing tool called 'Act Local' which aims to encourage more people to join the growing trend.

It was debated during a meeting of the resources scrutiny panel yesterday, during which Cllr Bayliss defended the tactic.

In recent months County Hall's opposition Labour group, led by Councillor Peter McDonald, has criticised the growth of volunteers.

Cllr Bayliss said: "For some people, there's been some worry and concern around volunteering.

"I think it's complete poppycock, particularly at this time of retrenchment (in council spending) I think it helps build societies - it encourages and helps people do more than they normally would."

He asked Neil Anderson, the council's head of cultural and community services, if he had a view on the concerns.

Mr Anderson said he constantly "monitoring" public attitude to volunteers and was determined to make it work.

"Is it a one size fits all approach? Probably not, there are some paid staff roles you can't replace," he said.

"As an example, think of the archivists' role, it's a highly professional one - the volunteers (at The Hive) can help people search their family history on a computer but they can't verify documents and do the stuff the archivists do."

The council is trying to promote the Act Local scheme more with the launch of a new website.

The website is being updated constantly with information on where people volunteer, success stories around Worcestershire, the role parish councils have to play and how ordinary people can get involved.

To see it visit worcestershire.gov.uk/cms/act-local.aspx.

Comments (7)

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4:23pm Thu 4 Sep 14

PrivateSi says...

It's not poppycock to deride the **** who don't pay people a penny for working.... I believe in FAIR PAY, unlike Tories.
It's not poppycock to deride the **** who don't pay people a penny for working.... I believe in FAIR PAY, unlike Tories. PrivateSi
  • Score: 2

4:23pm Thu 4 Sep 14

PrivateSi says...

C0CKS is hardly a swear word, WN...
C0CKS is hardly a swear word, WN... PrivateSi
  • Score: 0

7:18pm Thu 4 Sep 14

3thinker says...

A bit rich coming for our Marc.

After publicly slagging off others for picking up litter he now extols the virtues of volunteering.

How's about he puts his money where his mouth is and offers to do one of his two councillor jobs on a purely voluntary basis.

That said. I actually agree with him that there are lots of merits for all concerned in increasing the amount of volunteering, but not when it lets the Council and Government off the hook in terms of paying for and delivering vital services.
A bit rich coming for our Marc. After publicly slagging off others for picking up litter he now extols the virtues of volunteering. How's about he puts his money where his mouth is and offers to do one of his two councillor jobs on a purely voluntary basis. That said. I actually agree with him that there are lots of merits for all concerned in increasing the amount of volunteering, but not when it lets the Council and Government off the hook in terms of paying for and delivering vital services. 3thinker
  • Score: 2

9:28am Fri 5 Sep 14

brooksider says...

Can the failing County Council please supply us all with piles tarmac so we can repair the road outside our front doors?
Can the failing County Council please supply us all with piles tarmac so we can repair the road outside our front doors? brooksider
  • Score: 3

10:23am Fri 5 Sep 14

Marcbayliss says...

3thinker wrote:
A bit rich coming for our Marc.

After publicly slagging off others for picking up litter he now extols the virtues of volunteering.

How's about he puts his money where his mouth is and offers to do one of his two councillor jobs on a purely voluntary basis.

That said. I actually agree with him that there are lots of merits for all concerned in increasing the amount of volunteering, but not when it lets the Council and Government off the hook in terms of paying for and delivering vital services.
Hi Neil, At no point have i ever slagged off volunteers. I pointed out that EVERY year you and your Green Party colleagues do a litter pick to purely highlight your new candidate. Real volunteers do that sort of activity week in and week out and they deserve our admiration.
As for volunteering, i do actual volunteer as a parish councillor and as a volunteer at a wide range of local events, but thanks for asking.
[quote][p][bold]3thinker[/bold] wrote: A bit rich coming for our Marc. After publicly slagging off others for picking up litter he now extols the virtues of volunteering. How's about he puts his money where his mouth is and offers to do one of his two councillor jobs on a purely voluntary basis. That said. I actually agree with him that there are lots of merits for all concerned in increasing the amount of volunteering, but not when it lets the Council and Government off the hook in terms of paying for and delivering vital services.[/p][/quote]Hi Neil, At no point have i ever slagged off volunteers. I pointed out that EVERY year you and your Green Party colleagues do a litter pick to purely highlight your new candidate. Real volunteers do that sort of activity week in and week out and they deserve our admiration. As for volunteering, i do actual volunteer as a parish councillor and as a volunteer at a wide range of local events, but thanks for asking. Marcbayliss
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Jabbadad says...

Nobody gets paid on Parish councils, and the many thousands of local volunteers do not get paid or any help, however you could consider / offer one of the very generous yearly attendance / travel and other allowances you get from both the positions you hold, (which many years ago were considered as public services for communities). ?
Nobody gets paid on Parish councils, and the many thousands of local volunteers do not get paid or any help, however you could consider / offer one of the very generous yearly attendance / travel and other allowances you get from both the positions you hold, (which many years ago were considered as public services for communities). ? Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Fri 5 Sep 14

3thinker says...

Jabbadad wrote:
Nobody gets paid on Parish councils, and the many thousands of local volunteers do not get paid or any help, however you could consider / offer one of the very generous yearly attendance / travel and other allowances you get from both the positions you hold, (which many years ago were considered as public services for communities). ?
What an excellent way of reducing costs and for those Conservative councillors with two sets of allowances to practice what they preach when they say we are "All in this together".

Perhaps Simon Geraghty and Marc Bayliss could set an example for other councillors and the wider community by offering to fulfil one of their council roles on a purely voluntary basis.

Think of it as a "Big Society" initiative.
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: Nobody gets paid on Parish councils, and the many thousands of local volunteers do not get paid or any help, however you could consider / offer one of the very generous yearly attendance / travel and other allowances you get from both the positions you hold, (which many years ago were considered as public services for communities). ?[/p][/quote]What an excellent way of reducing costs and for those Conservative councillors with two sets of allowances to practice what they preach when they say we are "All in this together". Perhaps Simon Geraghty and Marc Bayliss could set an example for other councillors and the wider community by offering to fulfil one of their council roles on a purely voluntary basis. Think of it as a "Big Society" initiative. 3thinker
  • Score: 0

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