Scrutiny panel pans plans for assistants

Latest news from the Harborough Mail
Latest news from the Harborough Mail

A panel of cross-party councillors has called for proposals for political assistants to be scrapped.

Harborough District Council’s scrutiny panel met last Thursday at The Three Swans Hotel in Harborough to pore over the budget proposals being put forward by the council’s Tory-run executive committee.

One element in the draft 2014-15 budget is for about £22,000 to be put aside for political assistants.

Cllr Phil Knowles, the leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group, is a member of the panel.

He said: “I made clear my opposition to spending tax payers’ money on political assistants.

“The expenditure cannot be justified.”

Cllr Knowles moved a motion calling on the executive to scrap the idea, which was seconded by Conservative councillor Cllr Derek Evans.

Support for the proposal was unanimous.

Cllr Knowles said: “Hopefully the executive will accept this proposal and take the idea for political assistants out of the budget.”

Overall, the council’s budget plans to make £107,00 in cuts as it attempts to balance the books in light of an expected 12 per cent reduction in grants from the Government.

The plan has now been put out to public consultation with the deadline closing on Monday, February 3.

Any revisions will be reported to the executive on Monday, February 10.