Cash-strapped Burnley Council has been forced to cut staff and services for the last seven years and there seems to be no end to the savings it has to make.
Against that backdrop the council really didn’t need to be forced into an unnecessary corner and waste thousands on a referendum nobody had even dreamed was needed until some out-of-town busybody stuck his oar in.
Think about it for a moment. Had you ever thought that the current system needed replacing with an elected mayor?
No, of course you hadn’t.
Whatever your political hue, I bet you never sat there and thought to yourself “I know what would sort this out, an elected mayor”.
Of course, like many other recent votes, we haven’t got enough detail to work with at the moment.
Some of you have had leaflets from the council. I live in Burnley and haven’t had one yet.
But here’s why I will be voting no.
The referendum itself will cost the council £80,000 on the referendum. The majority of Burnley properties are in Band A when it comes to council tax.
You get a council tax bill and Burnley gets 17% of all the money collected.
That percentage of a Band A property where there is no discount in place works out at around £190 a year.
Simple maths, therefore, says that Burnley’s share of the council tax for 416 properties will disappear down the referendum drain.
If the vote is yes to an elected mayor, the election will cost £110,000, another 572 Band A properties paying council tax purely to fund something completely unnecessary.
Estimates suggest that an elected mayor will cost £100,000 a year more than the current council leader Add two elections at £70,000 each and the amounts involved get staggering.
The referendum decision will be binding for a decade. Please think very carefully before deciding to waste a further £1,230,000 to fuel one out-of-town man’s grudge against your council.