Open Letter to the Mayor-Elect

Today, Adrian has sent an Open Letter, to the Mayor-Elect, Cllr Nikki Hennessy

Dear Nikki,

I have read in the council agenda papers for the meeting of council next Wednesday, that you are the Labour Group’s nominee for Mayor for the ensuing Municipal Year. Many congratulations, I am sure that you will fulfil the role of First Citizen of the Borough with great grace.

You will be aware that the Borough Council faces some very tough budget decisions in the summer and autumn and that there is a real prospect that some of our staff will lose their jobs and that services to the public we serve will be reduced. The budget shortfall is estimated to be at least £1 million a year.

I fully recognise that to fulfil the role of Mayor fittingly, the holder of the role will incur additional expenditure on, for example, clothing. A Mayoral allowance is therefore appropriate.

However, given the financial position in which the Borough council finds itself and given the fact that you already have entitlements to allowances as a county councillor; county lead member for schools; and as a borough councillor which total £23,341 a year (£10,362 as county councillor; £8,137 as Lead Member for Schools; £4,842 as Borough Councillor), I am writing to ask you to consider not taking all, or at least most, of the Mayoral Allowance of £8730. If you were to take this allowance on top of the other three allowances you already receive, you would be receiving more than £32,000 from the public purse for your public service this year. Many of my ward residents would find it difficult to accept that the Mayor, a unifying figure in the Borough, would take such a sum during a year when the council will be making some very difficult financial decisions.

I hope that you will reflect on my suggestion to waive most or all of your Mayoral Allowance given the circumstances and I look forward to your reply. As this is a matter of public interest, I am copying this letter to the local media.

Yours sincerely,

Adrian Owens

UPDATE: Councillor Hennessy replied: "I am absolutely honoured to be the Mayor Elect of West Lancashire. It is widely recognised that the role of the Mayor is Civic, promoting West Lancashire along with businesses, schools and other organisations in the borough and Charitable, raising many thousands of pounds for local causes. This has been recognised and respected by all members of the council regardless of their political parties and I will accept the allowance set for this role under the budget."

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