What is a mayor worth?

September 12, 2012 6:08 PM

What is a mayor worth? Earlier this year, the people of Bristol bucked the national trend against posturing politicians by voting for a directly elected mayor to run the city council. Now, a panel of local government bureaucrats have decided on how much this mayor should be paid—the same as an MP—at £65,738. And the deputy mayor should be paid £41,086.

Local political groups have criticised this, saying the mayor should be paid no more than the current council leader, that is, £40,473. ‘In times of austerity it’s difficult to justify making it larger than necessary,’ says his deputy. ‘Why give a significantly larger sum? Why not stick with what’s there for the leader at the moment and review it after a year or so?’ A lower figure would mean ‘Bristol choosing to spend £25,000 on something more important.’

The Respect Party’s mayoral candidate went further, saying: ‘Greed and selfishness has destroyed society. We have to stop the path we’ve been going down.’ He then suggested a figure around £30,000 for the post. Elsewhere in the country, the highest paid elected mayor is in Newham, on a salary of £81,029, and the lowest paid in Mansfield receives £53,151.

All this pales against the current salary received by the un-elected Chief Executive of Bristol City Council, which totals over £190,000 of taxpayers’ money. Earlier this year, TPA supporters hit the streets of Bristol to protest against this and raised 150 signatures for their petition in just one hour.

In the meantime, Bath & North East Somerset Council has spent £94,000 on improving their website—only to make it worse! ‘How exactly is that justified?’ said one commentator. ‘The header title isn’t even in focus.’ Another noted that ‘the B&NES website update has killed ALL links to library services.’ One local web designer listed 40 faults and criticisms in all.

Yet again this reveals how public sector organisations are hopeless at commissioning services from the private sector. ‘For that sort of money they could have employed their own web designer for two or three years,’ suggested a local resident. ‘Did it go out to tender? Was it advertised on the Creative Bath site?’ But B&NES insists the changes will save money and make the website easier to navigate. Here’s hoping…What is a mayor worth? Earlier this year, the people of Bristol bucked the national trend against posturing politicians by voting for a directly elected mayor to run the city council. Now, a panel of local government bureaucrats have decided on how much this mayor should be paid—the same as an MP—at £65,738. And the deputy mayor should be paid £41,086.

Local political groups have criticised this, saying the mayor should be paid no more than the current council leader, that is, £40,473. ‘In times of austerity it’s difficult to justify making it larger than necessary,’ says his deputy. ‘Why give a significantly larger sum? Why not stick with what’s there for the leader at the moment and review it after a year or so?’ A lower figure would mean ‘Bristol choosing to spend £25,000 on something more important.’

The Respect Party’s mayoral candidate went further, saying: ‘Greed and selfishness has destroyed society. We have to stop the path we’ve been going down.’ He then suggested a figure around £30,000 for the post. Elsewhere in the country, the highest paid elected mayor is in Newham, on a salary of £81,029, and the lowest paid in Mansfield receives £53,151.

All this pales against the current salary received by the un-elected Chief Executive of Bristol City Council, which totals over £190,000 of taxpayers’ money. Earlier this year, TPA supporters hit the streets of Bristol to protest against this and raised 150 signatures for their petition in just one hour.

In the meantime, Bath & North East Somerset Council has spent £94,000 on improving their website—only to make it worse! ‘How exactly is that justified?’ said one commentator. ‘The header title isn’t even in focus.’ Another noted that ‘the B&NES website update has killed ALL links to library services.’ One local web designer listed 40 faults and criticisms in all.

Yet again this reveals how public sector organisations are hopeless at commissioning services from the private sector. ‘For that sort of money they could have employed their own web designer for two or three years,’ suggested a local resident. ‘Did it go out to tender? Was it advertised on the Creative Bath site?’ But B&NES insists the changes will save money and make the website easier to navigate. Here’s hoping…

Latest Blogs:

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Working for the taxman

6:00 AM 26, Nov 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Further thoughts on the Autumn Statement

4:56 PM 24, Nov 2016 James Price

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Have we had too much austerity?

10:57 AM 23, Nov 2016 Alex Wild

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Launch a War on Waste and simplify taxes

9:45 AM 23, Nov 2016 The TaxPayers' Alliance

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Reforming capital taxes

6:00 AM 19, Nov 2016 Harry Fairhead