UKIP would task councils with eliminating ‘unnecessary’ jobs including limo drivers, chief executives, and press officers, LocalGov can reveal.
The news came after the party announced in its manifesto that it would abolish all ‘non-essential’ jobs in local government, cut back on pay deals for town hall chiefs and cap the number of highly paid employees if it took power in the General Election.
Speaking to LocalGov, chair of UKIP’s Local Government Association (LGA) group, Cllr Peter Reeve, said most town hall media officers were ‘completely unnecessary’ and there were ‘still huge numbers of personal assistants’ in employment.
He also highlighted a particular county with six chief executives ‘when a single chief exec would be able to do the job’, in an instance that is ‘repeated across the country in two or three tier councils’.
He added that some local authorities were still employing ‘chauffeurs to drive the mayor’s limousine around’
‘Quite a few councils have been clever in hiding some of these jobs within their corporate or service budgets,’ Cllr Reeve said, ‘suggesting that the three personal assistants that they employ for their chief exec all also have other jobs to do.’
However he emphasised decisions on selecting the ‘non-essential’ jobs at town halls ‘will need very much to be made at a local level’ by undertaking a ‘forensic examination of the budgets’.
‘Every council should have a forensic analysis of their budgets done, using a zero based budgeting approach, but that the decisions on what are necessary or not should be at a local level,’ Cllr Reeve said.
‘Our role is to make it transparent what tax is being spent on and to eliminate those jobs that are seen locally as unnecessary.’