September 19 2014 Latest news:
Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Outgoing Fenland Council leader Alan Melton dropped the bombshell today that he had recently suggested to his 10 strong cabinet it be nearly halved as part of an £80,000 a year cost saving plan.
Cllr Melton unveiled brief details of his proposals to the last group meeting – the body which comprises Conservative councillors and which discuss policies privately in advance of being acted upon.
Although no decision was taken about a shake-up, Cllr Melton is believed to have suggested the savings along with a possible cut in the number of senior officers employed at Fenland Hall.
In his latest email to colleagues today – which he forwarded to this newspaper- Cllr Melton referred to “possible changes to the political administration of the council”.
Although he did not enclose a “diagram” which he showed to colleagues previously outlining the proposals, he re-iterated the aim of saving £80,000 a year.
“I want to emphasise that this is a discussion document- some members grumbled that this was an imposition,” he said.
“It is a starting point for discussion as I repeated several times- a final decision would be up to the group.”
It is not clear whether any of the candidates now in the running to replace him will take his proposals further which include reduce the number of cabinet posts from 10 to six.
Other councillors holding special responsibilities – such as chairmen and vice chairmen of committees- could also be affected.
A decision on his successor is expected on May 1.
He also sent Conservative councillors a copy of a 39 document power point presentation which he gave to the last group meeting outlining the authority’s achievements in recent years.
“We should all be very proud of what has been achieved over the last three years; we have met all of our manifesto commitments and much more,” he said.
“There is a solid base on which to fight the election. Group should start earnestly in the autumn to think about the forthcoming manifesto for 2015. It is important that all of us get the message out on our wards.
“Election Day falls on General Election day and if we are not careful our message will be lost in the plethora of national messages.”