An overhaul of top council posts following the Labour Party’s election success will see the wage bill for senior councillors cut by £70,000 if backed by an independent pay panel.
Within days of winning the local elections and control of the City Council for the first time in eight years, Sir Albert Bore and his Labour colleagues have drawn up plans to cut the Cabinet from ten, plus one executive member, to eight posts.
Each Cabinet member is currently paid £31,330 on top of their £16,267 standard councillor’s allowance.
They will also merge the licensing and public protection committees and the reduce scrutiny committees by two, cutting three senior posts. An employment matters committee will be set up to oversee staffing issues.
The role of the ten district, formerly constituency, chairmen and women will be beefed up as they take greater responsibility for housing, leisure centres, libraries and other local services.
Sir Albert said: “We are reducing the number of senior posts, while giving some additional responsibilities to others.
"Far from adding to the wage bill there will be a £70,000 reduction, on top of the ten per cent cut in special responsibility allowances already approved.”
He said they would present their suggestions to the Independent Remuneration Panel today (Monday).
A new revised council constitution, which includes many of the Labour group’s changes, was approved by the Council Business Management Committee.
There was some criticism from the Conservative group who suggested that it may be too early to scrap a specialist vulnerable children committee as the children’s social services department is only part way through implementing its improvement plan.
They are also worried that despite Sir Albert’s pledge to give the watchdog committees ‘more teeth’ that it could now take three councillors, rather than two as at present to officially challenge a Cabinet decision. Sir Albert has agreed to negotiate over these issues.
The new constitution also cuts what was 200 pages down to a more palatable 44, and puts many confusing clauses and regulations, into plain English following months of work by the council’s top lawyer David Tatlow.