Labour talks a lot about cuts.
When last year Liberal Democrats suggested that Councillors should take their fair share of the cuts by reducing the Special Responsibility Allowances (SRAs) paid to some senior Councillors, Labour refused to touch their own, but did reduce those paid to senior opposition Councillors!
Many residents were amazed to discover that a Council with 6o members considers that 30 SRAs are justified, costing nearly £190,000 a year! Of these, 23 (£161,000 a year) are paid to Labour Councillors, 4 (£25,000) to Conservatives and 1 (£2,800) to a Liberal Democrat – me.
Lib Dems believe that most of these (paid in addition to the Basic Allowance) could be scrapped, and proposed a cut of £60,000 from 1st June. All the SRAs – including mine – would have been considered for removal. Surprise, surprise Labour (and the Conservatives) voted against this.
All major decisions in Bolton Council are taken by a Cabinet of 14 Councillors (all Labour). Some meetings are held in public, but most are in private. Only 3 of the Councillors (all from central Bolton wards) can take any decisions – the others are just there to ‘advise’
The Council Tax payers pay the Cabinet over £114,000 a year to do that job.
When the Liberal Democrats ran Bolton they managed very well with just 8 – all of whom took decisions.
NOTE FOR THE RECORD As Group Leader I get an SRA of £2,799 a year (the Labour Leader gets £29,750 and the Conservative Leader gets £10,047).