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Cutbacks could hit Taunton Deane Mayor role
THE next Mayor of Taunton Deane fears the role could be diminished by cutbacks.
Deputy Mayor Cllr Dave Durdan says he is upset nobody approached him about proposals to scrap the Mayoral car and to replace the valuable chain of office with a cheap metal imitation.
Mr Durdan, who becomes the first citizen next May, said: “It was a shock. No-one spoke to me about the proposals – that would have been common decency.
“The Mayor’s supposed to be an ambassador for Taunton Deane, a figurehead to promote the district.
“The cutbacks are a sign of the times and I have to embrace it whether I like it or not.
“At the end of the day, if it saves the council taxpayer money, then I’m glad to do my bit.”
Mr Durdan will have to drive himself to appointments, while the historic role of Sergeant at Mace, also acting as the Mayor’s chauffeur and guard of the chain of office, will go.
Taunton Deane Council is also considering closing 18 public toilets under proposals to save £1.205million next year.
“I recognise there has to be some savings but I’m concerned that we are thinking of foregoing the responsibility of public toilets,” said Mr Horsley.
“There’s a limit to how far we can take efficiency savings without affecting frontline services.
“When our cuts begin to hurt the public, you’ll hear me shouting from the rooftop.”
Other possible measures mooted by council officers – which could result in four job losses and a total of nine vacant full and part-time posts – include raising car park charges by 4.4%, scrapping the parish liaison service and increasing planning advice charges.
“However, we’ve consistently focused on saving frontline services that are so valued by our community,” added Mr Williams.
“I can understand concerns being raised over reductions in toilets and the option is there for councillors to come up with alternatives.”
Further services reviews including parks and open spaces, leisure, parking services, environmental services and the Direct Labour Organisation will be undertaken over the next two years.
Taunton Deane has already agreed to a money-saving partnership with West Somerset Council of services and management – two senior managers have applied for redundancy.
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