Axe Welwyn Hatfield councillors to save cash

THE number of councillors in Welwyn Hatfield should be slashed, in a bid to save cash.

That is the radical proposal being put forward by Liberal Democrat councillor Tony Skottowe.

Welwyn Hatfield’s Liberal Democrat leader told the WHT: “With the economic constraints on councils throughout England likely to be in place for a considerable time, and with the probability of demands from central Government for further savings year-on-year, Welwyn Hatfield needs to be looking for different approaches to saving money.

“Up until now both residents and council staff have taken most of the burden through cuts in staff numbers, reduced community grants and increases in council charges.

“We now need to start considering how we can reduce the cost of our elected representatives; as yet no suggestions have been made on this part of the council’s costs.” He is calling for a review on the number of councillors per ward.

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Councillor Skottowe said: “If you work on the assumption that the number of councillors were to be reduced by a third and taking allowances, support equipment and support staff costs a saving in the order of �100,000 per year is not impossible to achieve.”

The level of saving is disputed by Welwyn Hatfield Council leader John Dean, who estimates it to be nearer �45,000, adding that was a small price to pay for democracy.

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Conservative leader, councillor Dean joked: “This is not a subject I’ve given much thought to, but if he is talking of cutting all the Liberal Democrat councillors, that works for me.”

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