Lib Dem Councillors in B&NES have called for the new West of England combined authority to prioritise financial responsibility and democratic accountability.
In a motion to Council, which was approved by all those voting in Bath this evening, Councillors called for the new Mayor of the West of England and the Leaders of the three Councils to minimise the running costs of the new Authority and to maximise transparency.
Councillor Dine Romero (Lib Dem, Southdown) commented:
“This new Combined Authority was not the preferred choice of local residents. Indeed when given the opportunity to have their say on an elected Mayor for B&NES, voters emphatically opposed this model of governance.
“Since the government is forcing us to have a Metro Mayor, we want to ensure that the organisation is kept as lean as possible and as transparent as possible so that no decisions are being taken behind closed doors. We would not, for example, wish to see the new Mayor assembling a large staff or acquiring large offices. We want to ensure that every available penny is spent on solutions for our regional transport and housing problems.
“I have spoken with our Lib Dem candidate for West of England Mayor, Stephen Williams, who has assured me that keeping a lid on spending and maximising openness would be of paramount importance to him, if elected on May 4th."
The picture shows Lib Dem candidate for West of England Mayor, Stephen Williams with Dine Romero, Leader of the Lib Dem Council Group in B&NES.
The deadline to register to vote in the West of England Mayoral Election is midnight on 13 April. The election will be on 4 May. More details are available here: https://www.westofengland-ca.org.uk/mayoral-election/
You can watch the debate on the Council's webcasts site: http://bathnes.public-i.tv/core/portal/home
Finally, here's the text of the motion:
- Notes the forthcoming West of England Mayoral election.
- Calls on the new Mayor, in cooperation with the Leaders of the three Councils of the West of England Combined Authority, to ensure that the running costs of the new combined authority are kept to a minimum and that the transparency arrangements of the new combined authority are maximised.