Councillor says Barry Town Mayor role should be axed to cut costs
A BARRY councillor is calling for a public vote on whether the town should have a mayor.
Independent member Robert Bertin, who represents Court ward on Barry Town Council (BTC), says the role should be axed in an attempt to save several thousand pounds during tough economic times.
But BTC clerk Cliff Lewis said that if the role - which dates back around 200 years - is abolished, Barry would ‘lose its civic pride’.
Cllr Bertin says he believes the money could be better spent directly on charitable causes or services, cutting out the need for a mayor's allowance, and that the role could be filled by the Leader of the council as chair.
He is seeking a public petition calling for a referendum so residents can have a vote on the matter.
Cllr Bertin said: "I am committed to helping save the council money at tough times and this is one way in which we could do so.
"I think it is time that the public have their say on this matter - after all there is also a Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan, so why do we need another?"
Town Clerk Cliff Lewis said the role of Barry Town mayor had existed in its present form since 1973, but before that there was the Barry and Cadoxton Local Board, Barry Urban Mayor and Barry Borough Mayor.
"The mayor doesn't get paid,” said Mr Lewis.
"He has an allowance for travel and entertainment and an allowance towards clothing.
"The Vale of Glamorgan and every town throughout the country has a mayor. To abolish it would take away the civic pride.
"The mayor does it (the job) for the love of it,” he added.
"They give up their personal time for that. I can't understand why anyone would want to get rid of the position."
Cllr Bertin plans to launch his petition and present it to the next BTC full council meeting.
BARRY TOWN COUNCIL TOTAL CIVIC EXPENDITURE 2011/12
Civic Advertising £2,000
Civic Hospitality £1,500
Mayor's Hospitality £1,000
Mayor's Medallions £750
Photographical Services £500
Mayor's Allowance inc On Cost £3,689
Mayor's Travel £1,750
Mayor's Donations £500
Remembrance Day Marshalling £0
Mayor's Advertising £1,000
Civic Gifts £1,000
Total Expenditure £13,689