More full-time politicians for Southampton

May 10, 2012 7:01 PM

Southampton City Council, in common with many others around the country, changed political colours last week. Shortly after the empty ballot boxes were locked away, a report in the Southern Daily Echo entitled 'What now for the red city?' contained a quote from Cllr Richard Williams, the new leader of the council:
I want to empower all the portfolio holders to work in their area- I want it to be decentralised. That team could include more Cabinet members drawing the additional £11,000 allowance than the previous six Conservatives. There could be a different-sized Cabinet.

With all the problems Southampton faces, it seems rather strange that one of  Cllr Williams' first announcements after becoming council leader was to propose more full-time politicians! This hardly comes top of the list for hard pressed council taxpayers in the city. To the best of my knowledge, none of the previous cabinet members went on the record saying they were so overworked they felt they needed additional colleagues in the cabinet to ease the load. If the previous administration coped with six cabinet members, why can't the new one?

Hopefully this idea will - like so many announcements from politicians - never come to fruition. Cllr Williams should be concentrating on making further efficiency savings which will help protect front-line services and ensure council tax is not increased next year. He should not be proposing ideas which may result in higher bills.Southampton City Council, in common with many others around the country, changed political colours last week. Shortly after the empty ballot boxes were locked away, a report in the Southern Daily Echo entitled 'What now for the red city?' contained a quote from Cllr Richard Williams, the new leader of the council:
I want to empower all the portfolio holders to work in their area- I want it to be decentralised. That team could include more Cabinet members drawing the additional £11,000 allowance than the previous six Conservatives. There could be a different-sized Cabinet.

With all the problems Southampton faces, it seems rather strange that one of  Cllr Williams' first announcements after becoming council leader was to propose more full-time politicians! This hardly comes top of the list for hard pressed council taxpayers in the city. To the best of my knowledge, none of the previous cabinet members went on the record saying they were so overworked they felt they needed additional colleagues in the cabinet to ease the load. If the previous administration coped with six cabinet members, why can't the new one?

Hopefully this idea will - like so many announcements from politicians - never come to fruition. Cllr Williams should be concentrating on making further efficiency savings which will help protect front-line services and ensure council tax is not increased next year. He should not be proposing ideas which may result in higher bills.

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