A SOUTH Tyneside councillor says there is no need for secrets over trades union membership.
Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis has called on councillors to declare their trades union links.
Coun John Anglin, secretary of the South Shields Labour Party, say it is a “no-brainer” for members to be open about the organisations they are members of.
Coun Anglin (pictured) said: “I think any member of the Labour Party who is a member of a trades union is more than willing to declare it. The days when people didn’t want other people to know what organisations they belong to are long gone.”
The Beacon and Bents ward representative was a trades union representative himself during his working life and backs their efforts to protect workers’ rights.
He said: “Trades unions have done and will continue to do fantastic work for their members. It seems a no-brainer to me to say if you are a trades union member.” GMB, the union for public service workers, has also weighed into the debate, saying that new guidance requiring councillors to declare trades union interests are a “damp squib”.
Brian Strutton, GMB national secretary for public services, said “This is something of a damp squib that I don’t think anyone will be too worried about.
“The Local Government Minister is requiring councillors to declare their trades union membership, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they already do.
“In my experience councillors of all political parties and independents are proud of their union membership and happy to declare it.
“This is because councillors recognise all the valuable work done by trades union representatives throughout local government and indeed the wider economy.”