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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Daggers drawn in Bridgend

Faced with massive cuts in their funding most Welsh Councils are examining their budgets to find savings. Not so in Bridgend. There they are creating additional paid posts for Labour councillors.

According to Wales-online  the Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council is planning to recruit an additional member to his cabinet, even though the authority must save £50m over the next four years.

The proposal has drawn fire from the former Labour Leader of Bridgend Council, who once relied the current leader as his deputy:

Council leader Mel Nott has said the seventh cabinet post will be funded by the £22,000 salary that is no longer drawn by Coun Jeff Tildesley as chairman of the democratic services committee and the post will entail overseeing “strategic change”.

With just six members at present, BCBC has the smallest cabinet of the 22 Welsh local authorities, with members’ salaries – which are set for all councils by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) – totalling £197,500.

But former Labour BCBC leader Jeff Jones, now a local government consultant, has blasted the move, claiming it defies logic and that money allocated for the post’s salary could be better spent elsewhere.

“It (the cabinet structure) was deliberately designed to be small and tight to save money and to allow decisions to be made and, quite frankly, since I set up that structure in 2002, they have lost leisure services, housing and refuse, so in my view they have difficulty justifying what they do have and adding another one just doesn’t make sense.

“If you use logic, it means you need fewer cabinet members, not more.”

Well at least we can see where Labour's priorities now lie in Bridgend.
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