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Cost-cutting move to axe Pendle town hall chief
A TOWN hall chief executive could be asked to quit – and 16 councillors sacked – to save almost £150,000 for a cash-strapped authority.
Labour councillors in Pendle believe Stephen Barnes should step down – and Burnley chief executive Steve Rumbelow should take the helm for both neighbouring authorities.
Mr Barnes is believed to earn around £90,000 for a four-day week, after his hours were cut 12 months ago.
And the Labour group is also proposing to slash the number of councillors, from 49 to 33, for Nelson, Colne, and West Craven.
Coun Mohammed Iqbal, Labour leader, said: “I would like to acknowledge the excellent work that Mr Barnes has done over the decades of service he has given.
“However, the huge cuts being imposed on areas like Pendle from this Tory and Liberal Democrat government mean that we have to take big decisions.
“I will be moving as part of our budget that we enter into talks with Burnley Council to share their chief executive. This will save a large amount of money for hard-pressed Pendle taxpayers.”
Deputy leader Coun Eileen Ansar added: “The government is hitting councils such as Pendle very hard with a huge reduction in funding.
“I believe that we need to reduce the number of coun- cillors to show our solidarity with fellow residents.”
Last year Mr Barnes saw his hours reduced, regeneration director Brian Cookson went to a three-day week, and community services director Philip Mousdale took a wage cut in return for more flexible working hours.
The proposition will be raised by the Labour group as part of its budget proposals, at Nelson Town Hall, tonight.
Talks have taken place between Burnley and Pendle over shared services, and there is an agreement for co-operation on certain legal services now in place.