Labour to cut councillors’ wage bill in first step towards a new Walsall Council

Walsall councillors’ wage bill will be cut by at least £50,000 if Labour takes control of the council in May, the party leaders have promised.

The commitment comes in the party’s manifesto published this week which highlights job creation, protecting the vulnerable and giving power back to local communities as its priorities for a Labour run council.

The manifesto also covers how the party will reform the authority after 12 years of Tory control during which it has become out of touch with voters and communities.

The Leader of Walsall council’s Labour group, Cllr Tim Oliver, said his party expected to take control of the authority in May.

“We are the only party on Walsall council to publish a manifesto so voters can see what we intend to do. In a period of high unemployment and cuts in services, our manifesto sets out how will defend the borough from the economic polices of the Tory led government and its Lib Dem supporters and make the council work for local people.

“Publishing our manifesto is part of our commitment to respect and empower local communities. One of our first acts will be to cut the overall councillors’ wage bill by at least £50,000, unlike the Tories who for the last two years have wanted to give themselves a pay rise. That shows how out of touch with the reality of people’s ordinary lives they are, how they’ve stopped listening or caring.

“A Labour administration will promote sustainable growth and attract worthwhile jobs, we will listen to and give more power to local communities through improved neighbourhood management and protect our most vulnerable citizens wherever they live in the borough.”

The manifesto outlines six major areas the party wants to deliver improvements including education and young people, regeneration, supporting neighbourhoods, health and social care.

Deputy leader, Cllr Sean Couglan said Labour would seek to protect voters, town centres and neighbourhoods from the Tory/Lib Dem polices. “Having lost my own job because of the government’s cuts, I know what voters and communities are going through.  The Tories have run Walsall Council for 12 years and our town centres, communities and young people have all suffered from lost opportunities and wasted chances.

“We will build on the history of hard work, self reliance and innovation which made people proud to be from the borough. Regeneration is not a priority it’s an absolute necessity if we are to escape the misery of unemployment. We must attract well paid, skilled jobs which offer long term prospects.

“In housing we will empower local communities by promoting more housing co-operatives that allow residents to take control of their homes and estates.”

“We will introduce a fairer, humane charging system for those like the elderly and disabled who rely on vital services such as home help.

“We will improve the council’s departments to make them listen to local people, respond to their needs and ask them how we can improve services instead of telling them what they will get. “

The manifesto can be viewed on-line at