Letter: Cut costs by reducing councillors from 99 to 66

Over recent years I had always understood that the number of Leeds City Council employees varied between 30,000 and 32,000, depending on who was issuing the figures, and whether advisors and consultants were included.

Yet the latest figures published in the council’s four-year finance plan and quoted in the YEP on December 5 are as follows:

“The council has already shed 12.5 per cent of its workforce (around 1,800 workers) in the past two years”.

If my calculations are correct, this means that the remaining 87.5 per cent employees must total 14,400 personnel. In which case either the HR department (hiring/firing) or the PR department need to put their heads together and provide us with a credible rationale as to how 16,000+ people can be mislaid?

In the meantime, it would be interesting to learn how the 99 council members plan to introduce cost-efficiency measures to their own operations.

For starters, may I suggest a voluntary 15 per cent reduction in their generous allowances?

Alternatively a reduction of ward representatives from three to two, would create a more manageable chamber of 66 members, each of whom would be required to attend a minimum of 75 per cent of annual meetings on penalty of dismissal.

If our national parliament can consider voluntary reduction of 50 MPs, surely the more parochial affairs of Leeds don’t need so many hangers-on? And finally, it would also be interesting to learn how many of the generously compensated redundant council workers have been subsequently re-engaged?

Vernon Wood, by email




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