Above: Lib Dem Councillor Tony Dawson
As Sefton Council’s controlling Labour group trail their planned cuts in local services, some local councillors are saying that a cut in their total number is a better and fairer way to save money.
At a packed public meeting in St Cuthbert’s Church Hall, Churchtown, last Thursday, Southport Lib Dem Councillor Tony Dawson spelled out that there were better alternatives to cutting staff at the Botanic Gardens.
“Good Councillors provide great support for their local residents and no one would want to cut down on this support if there were better alternatives.”
Lib Dem councillors have repeatedly spoken out for a reduction in councillors from three to two per ward, saving £ thousands per year and Cllr Dawson emphasised that they still supported this policy.
“But the Council has substantially reduced size in recent years. It is unfair and irresponsible for Labour to say ‘everything else can be be cut but not councillors’.”
Lib Dems first raised their proposal for a reduction in the number of Sefton councillors with the Boundary Commission four years ago, and have also put it forward at subsequent Sefton Budget Council meetings. However each time they have been voted down by Labour, despite the opportunity to cut costs by £200,000 a year.
“Councillors must share in the sacrifices neccessary to keep essential services,” says Councillor Dawson, “and it is sad that Bootle Labour councillors’ number one priority is to keep the Sefton Cabinet as the most expensive group of councillors in the North West.”
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