A Suggestion by former Mayor and councillor John Smith, who has now been relegated to the public gallery, to save the council some cash by enacting a four-day week in the Town Hall failed to fly.
His proposal was made through a ‘question’ aimed at the Leader of the Council, although it really sounded like a helpful observation.
Mr Smith said council spending was ‘unsustainable’ and would lead to financial ruin in the long term unless the council ditched its ‘reactionary’ budgets and set about doing something ‘radically different.’
His radical solution to cut costs involved unconsulting the council’s consultants ‘which only tell you what you already know’ and a rather vague suggestion they take an axe to the ‘fluffy stuff’.
But his suggestions were not going to go uncontested, with Council Leader David Jukes at the ready.
“I don’t quite know how to address you these days, Mr Smith. Can I call you John?” He asked in a jovial manner, making everyone brace themselves.
“Well John, you were here for, what was it, 12 years? It was only eight months ago that you left us, so why didn’t you do something about it while you were here?”
There was the briefest of pauses to let that sink in before he continued: “Anyway, we have suffered a 50 per cent cut to our budget, as you are probably aware.
“And we have been taking a leaf out of your book to run this place in a more business-like manner,” he said, before listing the efficiencies made by the council.
Unbowed, Mr Smith said the current measures did not go far enough, and unveiled his best idea.
“Thank you. I can call you Dave can’t I?”, a response which generated laughter among those present, “I know there is a lot of good work going on but I fear it is not enough.
“Has the council considered a four-day working week to save money?”
Mr Smith was told the council ‘could not imagine’ the public would welcome a four-day week council as it would disrupt services which the council have been trying at great lengths to carry on as normal.
The council staff will surely be disappointed by the news.