Willott criticises Labour bigwigs as Cardiff Council divides emerge

September 19, 2012 11:03 AM
Originally published by Jenny Willott MP

Consultation papers on the restructuring of senior management at Cardiff Council reveal deep divisions on the Labour council backbenches, calling into question the leadership of the Labour controlled council in Cardiff.

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Cardiff Council, Coun Judith Woodman, has strongly criticised Cardiff's Labour administration for bungling one of their first announcements, calling into question whether the Labour leadership is suitable to be running the largest council authority in Wales.

Comments by Labour councillors strongly criticise the proposed management structure calling it "needlessly excessive and morally unpalatable", saying it could "lead to possible redundancies and industrial action" and that some "would struggle to explain why those at the top merit pay at these levels, especially at a time when we will be face with very difficult decisions about front line service delivery."

The trade union responses are equally opposed to the changes calling them "unacceptable", "not good value for money" and "an insult to low paid members of staff."

Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, Jenny Willott said:

"This is unfortunately typical of Labour in Cardiff - at a time when families are struggling, it is completely indefensible to both increase the number of top executives and pay them more. Money should go into services for the people of Cardiff, not into the pockets of a few."

Liberal Democrat Opposition Leader, Coun Judith Woodman said:

"This is an utter shambles and totally embarrassing for the leadership of the Labour administration in Cardiff. This was one of the first announcements made by the Labour leadership and already they are facing serious dissent from their backbenches. It is clear from the consultation responses that their own backbenchers were not consulted before this announcement was made. If they don't bother consulting with their own councillors, I fear that the opinion of the people of Cardiff will matter even less to them.

"The previous Lib Dem administration managed to successfully run the council for eight years with a slimmed down senior management structure providing value for money, ensuring that money was spent on front line services. This Labour administration has gone back to the bad old days of spending like there's no tomorrow with scant regard to how the people of Cardiff will be affected. We strongly oppose the proposed management structure and I am confident that that the people of Cardiff will back us on this."

Dr. Bablin Molik, Cardiff South and Penarth by-election candidate said:

"Just as the Liberal Democrats successfully campaigned to stop Labour's plans to introduce a congestion charge, we will also fight to ensure that the Labour administration spends money on vital front line services rather than back room excessive management structures.

"The Labour administration in Cardiff really must get its act together. Money is tight at the moment and the sooner they realise that the better for the people of Cardiff. I am very concerned that the years of careful and prudent spending by the previous Liberal Democrat administration will have been in vain if Labour carries on with wasteful spending like this."

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