Calls to scrap Neath Port Talbot mayoral costs to help budget cuts
THE role of the mayor should be scrapped completely in Neath Port Talbot, in a bid to help cut the budget.
That's the opinion of some members of the local authority, who spoke out at a cabinet scrutiny meeting on £17.3 million having to be saved by April next year.
Part of a report which went before members proposed that £10,000 be saved from the mayoral budget.
But Councillor Lynette Purcell said: "If we’re in a situation where jobs are at risk, we have to look at losing luxuries before we lose jobs.
"Not only do I support the proposal, but it is the Plaid group’s suggestion to council that we invite an investigation into losing the role and cost of the mayor completely.
"I might be seen by some local people as being a very generous gesture that we are looking to protect jobs, to protect services, and I propose that the council do without the luxury of the mayor."
Councillor Alun Llewellyn added: "I have a great deal of respect for anyone who has held that office, but the total costs of the mayoralty is in the region of £170,000.
"We’re listing £10,000 worth of savings, I don’t think that touches the savings that need to be made."
But Councillor Paula Bebell, whose husband Harry was county mayor in 2011/2012, spoke out against the suggestion.
She said: "I think the mayor plays a big role in the wellbeing of residents in the community and in civil life."
The report suggests reducing the budget for mayoralty by £10,000.
"Savings (would be) achieved by reducing the costs of ceremonial events such as mayor making.
"The European Twinning arrangements (in which the Council has not participated since 2009) would be formally abandoned."