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To fight government cuts St Helens Council must be seen to have its house in order
WALLY Ashcroft in his letter published last week (Thursday, September 5) is right to question the council’s three councillors per ward policy. St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council has 48 councillors: three for each of the borough’s 16 wards.
In the last financial year total allowances claimed by them exceeded £550,000.
The council leader received £40,000, the deputy leader £25,000 and their six cabinet colleagues more than £22,000 each.
The most senior politicians in St Helens collectively receive allowances approaching £200,000 a year.
A compulsory 10 per cent levy on individual Labour Party councillors’ allowances means that the Labour Party itself indirectly receives more than £50,000 from local council tax payers. Government cuts are hitting communities across the country, but if we are to fight them effectively the council must be seen to have its own house in order.
Instead we have a discredited system that encourages apathy and cynicism, and allows political parties and career politicians to profit at the expense of the rest of us.
- A review of senior management costs at St Helens Council, including political management costs.
- A review of the council’s three councillors per ward policy.
- A review of the current election cycle, which sees borough-wide local elections in three out of every four years at an estimated cost of £100,000 per year.
Undoubtedly there are some capable councillors who offer commitment and value for money. But the status quo cannot continue – nationally or locally.
St Helens Green Party
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