Mayoral costs are frozen – but still too high
This freezing of civic costs is not as commendable as it may seem to Bath city taxpayers in respect of the mayoralty.
In 1996, Bath City Council ceased to exist and the Charter Trustees were thus formed to perpetuate the office of the Mayor of Bath, leaving the mayor bereft of executive powers, and with a purely ceremonial role.
At that point in 1996, legislation set the mayoral precept at £60,000. Subsequent inflation would have taken this figure to just under £100,000 in the current financial year.
Somehow, in just over 15 years, the Charter Trustees have raised the precept to £209,000.
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In the current dire economic climate, the Bath taxpayer may wish to ask why the mayoral precept should not now have been substantially reduced and alternatively what extra benefits they have received from the doubling of their taxes.
I otherwise find it ironic that at the end of the meeting of the Charter Trustees last Tuesday, which set the coming year's Budget, the mayor invited those attending, including four in the public gallery, to come to the parlour for drinks. Being a man of high principle (?) I declined (and anyway I had to take my wife home).
If I had gone to the parlour, I am sure I could have more than recouped my coming year's contribution to the mayoral precept.
MALCOLM WARD Caroline Place Bath