SCARBOROUGH Council’s leader has been urged to reduce his Cabinet by a further two members in a bid to save the authority cash in the current wave of efficiency savings.
Cllr Tom Fox presented his decision in a statement to the full council yesterday and said he would officially announce his new reduced Cabinet line-up later this month.
However members of the council’s Labour Group repeated an earlier request to reduce the body by a total of three members which was originally put forward when the council budget was decided.
Cllr Colin Challen said: “We wish to reduce the Cabinet to a more proportionate size bearing in mind the reductions throughout the council.”
Cllr Fox said the size of the Cabinet and the nature of the portfolios were matters for the leader to decide and the Government imposed idea of localism made for an uncertain future for the council.
He added: “There are financial pressures on the council – sometimes we have to spend a penny to save a pound, that’s what this council is doing.”
Cllr Fox said he would monitor how the Cabinet coped in its reduced size and if it struggled he would reassess the situation.
But Cllr Challen said the legal minimum for a Cabinet was three members and the proposed number was large by comparison.
Cllr Joe Plant said: “I don’t know which two members they are proposing – it’d be nice to come forward with a business plan.”
Cllr Michael Jay-Hanmer agreed with the leader’s decision but warned: “It has to be said that it will struggle to do the job properly as it is. What is it going to be like if we reduce it by another two?”
Members of the Labour Group asked for the matter to be subjected to a recorded vote but Cllr John Blackburn, the mayor of Scarborough and chairman of the meeting, said it was the leader’s decision. He added: “It’s not the council’s responsibility it’s the leader’s.”
Members received the recommendations.