Salford's new Mayor announces his team

May 16, 2012 2:57 PM

Earlier this year, Salford City Council held a referendum which asked residents if they wanted an elected mayor. Although fewer than 1 in 5 bothered to vote, a majority said yes, and elections took place on Thursday 3 May. Former Labour MP, Ian Stewart was duly elected.

Last week he announced his team. There will be a Deputy Mayor, and a further eight Assistant Mayors (two of which are described as Strategic Assistant Mayors) who will have voting powers at cabinet meetings. This is an identical number of cabinet members as there was under the previous system where there was a council leader. In addition to them, there are a further five cross departmental Assistant Mayors. I don't think you will be able to walk through the town hall without tripping over someone with Mayor in their official title!

We also don't know how much the Mayor will be paid. An independent remuneration panel hasn't been set-up yet, and if Leicester is anything to go by, don't expect a decision any time soon. It took Leicester almost a year to decide.

The portfolio briefs have raised some eyebrows too. For example, why does Salford need an Assistant Mayor in charge of International Relations? There are also Assistant Mayors in charge of Culture, Communication and Community Engagement, and Management and Workplace Reform.

If all of that wasn't bad enough, none of the appointees have been chosen because they are experts in their field. Unsurprisingly, are all elected councillors, many of whom served as cabinet members in the previous administration.  After choosing his team, the new Mayor had this to say:
I have taken a great deal of care when creating my cabinet as these are the people who will help me to deliver positive change in the city. I have been very clear that my biggest aim is to build a strong future for Salford and this will be the team that will help me to deliver this.

I know no politician can achieve anything alone. The only way to deliver positive change is by working with others in the interests of people in Salford and their families.

We are very aware that we have a huge task ahead of us, delivering real change and benefits for the city. But this is a challenge we are ready for and now that the team has been put together, we have started to work towards creating a brighter future for the people of Salford and their families.

At a time when budgets are tight, he could have used the opportunity to trim down numbers. He could have opted to run a tighter ship. What I don't think the people of Salford expected him to do was appoint so many people to so many positions, some of which have very dubious titles to say the least.

The TPA believes it is up to local people to decide what system of local government they want. On face value, it doesn't seem that much has changed in Salford, although if these appointments are anything to go by, things could be getting worse.

 Earlier this year, Salford City Council held a referendum which asked residents if they wanted an elected mayor. Although fewer than 1 in 5 bothered to vote, a majority said yes, and elections took place on Thursday 3 May. Former Labour MP, Ian Stewart was duly elected.

Last week he announced his team. There will be a Deputy Mayor, and a further eight Assistant Mayors (two of which are described as Strategic Assistant Mayors) who will have voting powers at cabinet meetings. This is an identical number of cabinet members as there was under the previous system where there was a council leader. In addition to them, there are a further five cross departmental Assistant Mayors. I don't think you will be able to walk through the town hall without tripping over someone with Mayor in their official title!

We also don't know how much the Mayor will be paid. An independent remuneration panel hasn't been set-up yet, and if Leicester is anything to go by, don't expect a decision any time soon. It took Leicester almost a year to decide.

The portfolio briefs have raised some eyebrows too. For example, why does Salford need an Assistant Mayor in charge of International Relations? There are also Assistant Mayors in charge of Culture, Communication and Community Engagement, and Management and Workplace Reform.

If all of that wasn't bad enough, none of the appointees have been chosen because they are experts in their field. Unsurprisingly, are all elected councillors, many of whom served as cabinet members in the previous administration.  After choosing his team, the new Mayor had this to say:
I have taken a great deal of care when creating my cabinet as these are the people who will help me to deliver positive change in the city. I have been very clear that my biggest aim is to build a strong future for Salford and this will be the team that will help me to deliver this.

I know no politician can achieve anything alone. The only way to deliver positive change is by working with others in the interests of people in Salford and their families.

We are very aware that we have a huge task ahead of us, delivering real change and benefits for the city. But this is a challenge we are ready for and now that the team has been put together, we have started to work towards creating a brighter future for the people of Salford and their families.

At a time when budgets are tight, he could have used the opportunity to trim down numbers. He could have opted to run a tighter ship. What I don't think the people of Salford expected him to do was appoint so many people to so many positions, some of which have very dubious titles to say the least.

The TPA believes it is up to local people to decide what system of local government they want. On face value, it doesn't seem that much has changed in Salford, although if these appointments are anything to go by, things could be getting worse.

 

Latest Blogs: