More scrutiny for mayor’s role

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Town Hall ext 100236b news
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THE role of Scarborough’s mayor needs to be brought into the 21st Century, it has been claimed.

Members of Scarborough Council’s Resources Scrutiny Committee have been asked to further investigate the civic role in a bid to identify areas where savings can be made.

At a meeting of the council’s Cabinet a report, which outlined the findings of the committee’s Mayoralty Task Group, was criticised because figures were not detailed enough – the group had initially recommended to axe the chauffeur driven service which could have netted an annual saving of £20,000.

Cllr Brian Simpson, the portfolio holder for democratic and customer services, said he could not accept the report because it needed a lot more work and asked that the scrutiny committee look again at the future of the mayor’s car.

Cllr Jane Kenyon said asked that the mayor’s role be further reviewed with a view to saving money. She said: “The report doesn’t come up with meat on the figures.”

She added: “We should protect and enhance the role which people value in the borough.”

The review into possible cost cutting in the Mayoralty Service was initially triggered following a public consultation which asked what areas people wanted to see savings made and it was identified as the number one option.

Council leader Cllr Tom Fox asked how the situation over the future of the mayor’s could be managed and suggested a pool of “specially trained council staff” who could act as official drivers. “We need to explore the options quite quickly. There’s a need to review some of the functions that the mayor goes to – let’s bring it into the 21st Century and ditch what we don’t need,” he said.

Cllr Nick Brown, who was a member of the task group, defended their findings because detailed figures were not available. He added: “I think we did as well as we could do under the circumstances.”