Thomas Bridge 15 April 2015

UKIP pledges to abolish all ‘non-essential’ council jobs

UKIP has pledged to abolish all ‘non-essential jobs’ in local government and cut allowances for councillors if it takes power in May.

Launching its General Election manifesto, UKIP said it would block the current cabinet system of local authority governance claiming it ‘puts too much power in the hands of too few people’. The party plans to cap the number of ‘highly-paid’ council staff and scrap all ‘non-essential’ roles and red tape.

It outlined today that it would ‘slash’ pay deals and so called ‘golden handshakes’ for chief executives while reducing what it terms ‘excessive’ allowances for councillors.

In what could be seen as a move contrary to the growing momentum behind devolution, the party said it would look to reduce the number of statutory responsibilities held by local authorities.

Every major planning decision – including supermarket developments, wind turbines, incinerators and major housing developments – would have to be put to a binding local referendum, the party said.

Weekly bin collections would be reinstated if demanded by communities and council tax would be kept ‘as low as possible’.

The party added that its councillors would continue to ‘vote how they choose’ and ‘will not be "whipped" to bloc vote like councillors in other political parties’.

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