Cost of town’s mayor to be reduced by more than £22k in new council plan

The current Mayor of Boston Bernard Rush EMN-180131-165507001
The current Mayor of Boston Bernard Rush EMN-180131-165507001

Council leaders are set to make more than £22k of savings after putting together a six-point plan to reduce the costs associated with Boston’s Mayor.

Boston Borough Council’s Cabinet put forward the proposals after examining the civic and mayoral budget as part of a project to meet austerity savings which will eventually lead to the complete withdrawal of funding for council’s from Government.

From April, the cabinet has proposed that Mayors, who currently use an official chauffeured car, should make their own travel arrangements.

The proposals say that in exceptional circumstances a taxi and transport will be provided.

The mayor’s Macebearer, which will see the costs reduced by more than £18,000 a year alone, is to be retained on reduced hours for attendance at full council meetings, civic events and events where it is traditional for the Mayor to attend in robes.

Attendance by the Mayor will be mainly be restricted to events within the county and the role’s allowances will be reduced to £4,000 for the Mayor and £1,000 for the Deputy Mayor.

These, they say reviewed each year and subject to recommendations from the Independent Remuneration Panel and council decision on members’ allowances.

A financial proforma put before the cabinet estimated that the changes would make annual savings of £22,271 in 2018/19, £22,761 in 2019/20, £22,984 in 2020/21, £23,152 in 2021/22 and £23,344 in 2022/23.

Coun Michael Brookes said that a balance had to be drawn between savings and modernisation and the dignity of the Mayorality.

CounBrookes said: “We have tried to do this sympathetically, but bearing in mind that every service where the council spends money has to be looked at closely to see if we can save money. Most councils in Lincolnshire have gone in this direction.”

The renumeration panel will also be asked to consider the level of special responsibility allowances for the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

The format of the Service to the Community Awards is to be reviewed withy consideration given to the event being held every other year instead of annually.

A council spokesman said they had not been held this year yet and a decision on whether Brian Rush’s awards will take place is pending review.

In 2016/17 Mayoral allowances and vehicle running costs were £8,327. The Mayoral car is 15 years old. Together with other support costs the total was £39,702.