Local Councils are setting their budgets. Everyone knows the belt is being tightened. One of the most usual refrains is that Councillors are protecting their own financial interests whilst inflicting pain on others. I speak at a Leaders of the Opposition with one of the lowest allowance claims in any metropolitan authority. I regularly meet residents with want to see a reduction in Councillors' allowances and a reduction in the number of Councillors.
It would be folly to suggest that such adjustments would solve the budget issues with which we are faced . It would be equal folly to suggest that even relatively small sums of money would not make a difference when it comes to , say, saving a Library-and our Labour Council are consulting on shutting every branch Library in Southport.
I have made it clear in public several times that I would not accept an increase in my allowances even if offered and that I believe that our relatively well paid Cabinet members should take a significant cut. It is equally clear to me that we should explore reducing the number of Councillors.