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Empire builders ‘should be axed’

‘EMPIRE building middle managers’ at Solihull Council should face the chop says a borough councillor.

‘EMPIRE building middle managers’ at Solihull Council should face the chop says a borough councillor.

Shirley West’s Howard Allen’s call comes as the local authority faces making £15 million worth of cuts following the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review last week.

“With the council tax increases over the last few years there should be enough money in the pot,” said the independent Liberal Democrat.

“I’m not saying you should sack hundreds of hard working council staff. But you have middle managers empire building for their own department and a chief executive earning a factor of 20 to the lowest paid - and that is unacceptable.”

And he joined a growing chorus of disapproval at the council’s efforts to involve the public in the cuts through an online ‘budget calculator’ - which handily omits the authority’s own running costs.

“This is a waste of officers time and therefore a waste of taxpayers money,” he said.

Conservative leader Coun Ken Meeson said the public had always been consulted through Citizen Panels while the secretary of the Solihull Ratepayers’ Association, Trevor Eames said: “It’s really fairly meaningless. It would make a nice exercise for primary school children.”

The authority says it wants to use the public’s feedback so it can plan its spending once the Government announces how much money every council will get, in early December.

The simulator shows 19 different service areas, from the largest, such as those affecting children and vulnerable adults, to the smallest, like support to the voluntary sector.

Leader of the council, Coun Ian Hedley (Lib Dem,Shirley East) said: “We want people to give us a steer so they can tell us what is important or not.”

Paul Johnson, director of business support, added: “The council does not want to have a redundancy programme. But we may need to revise that in December.”

The consultation ends on November 30. The online survey can be found at

* What do you think? E-mail us at or write to Solihull News, 150 High Street, Solihull B91 3SX.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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