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Monday 26 March 2012

This is Derbyshire: The ancient role of mayor looks set to be part of tradition for many years to come despite cuts

The Taxpayers’ Alliance has called on all councils to keep a watchful eye on what is spent on their figureheads – especially on transport.

Alliance campaign director Emma Boon said: “Some people like having all of the ceremony and feel it’s an important tradition, but others feel it’s outdated and costly.

“There are lots of ways that costs can be reduced if residents want to keep their mayor or chairman.

“Anyone in these roles should be sensitive to the fact that money is tight. Measures like cutting ceremonial cars and chauffeurs are just some of the ways to reduce the cost of the posts to the public purse.”

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Birmingham Mail.net: Birmingham City Council pays £10k to help fund ‘Gay Rhino’ project

A spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: “Taxpayers will wonder why Birmingham City Council are blowing money on public art at a time when it’s pleading poverty in other areas. Art projects like this are capable of raising money for themselve.”

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The Star: Are school heads worth £102k?

Robert Oxley, campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, agreed. “Taxpayers should be able to judge for themselves whether they’re getting value for money,” he said.

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Belfast Telegraph: Belfast councillors run up £75k food bill in four years

A spokeswoman for the Taxpayers Alliance said: “This is exactly the sort of thing the council should cut spending on. It won’t hit front line services so it’s a quick and easy saving. There’s no reason taxpayers should pay for food at a meeting that lasts less than an hour, let alone a full meal.”

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BBC News – UK Politics: Commons authorities to rule on iPads for all MPs

But campaign group the Taxpayers’ Alliance said that “with the public finances in such a mess, the last thing taxpayers want is to fork out for a new toy for every MP”.

“Many members don’t want one or need an iPad, or simply prefer paper,” spokeswoman Emma Boon said.

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