Wednesday, September 02, 2009

He has made a punchy start which, if replicated nationwide, would lead to public sector bedlam. The question is who should be most worried about his success: Labour or the Tories? Because his message threatens both.

Within a week of his election, Mr Davies had slashed his own salary from £73,000 to £30,000, scrapped the mayoral limousine and abolished the council's free newspaper.

He has written to the Electoral Commission asking them to scrap two-thirds of Doncaster's 63 council seats in order to save the town £800,000 a year.

'If Pittsburgh can manage with nine councillors, why do we need 63?' he asks. 'They each get a basic salary of £12,590 and we have only eight council meetings a year anyway.'

Deeply sceptical of 'green claptrap', he must be the only mayor in Britain who wants more traffic in his town. He says it will boost business and has just announced plans for more parking spaces and an end to bus-only routes. 'Like it or not, we live in the age of the car,' he says.

He wants to cut all 'non-jobs' in his 13,500 workforce - such as platinum-pensioned 'community cohesion officers' - and aims to shrivel future pay deals for council executives.

Much as he likes his chief executive, Paul Hart, he says his £175,000 salary is 'a joke' and that any successor can expect half.

'Don't believe that stuff about "having to pay the best to get the best". It's arrant nonsense - look what it did to the City,' he says.

And he is in the process of 'de-twinning' Doncaster from its five twin towns around the world. Twinning, he says, is all about free holidays for councillors and their staff. On taking office, he was amazed to discover that the council had agreed to pay a £2,800 hotel bill during next month's St Leger race meeting at the local racecourse.

The money is for entertaining councillors from Herten, Doncaster's (soon-to-be-ex) twin town in Germany. It was too late to cancel the reservations, but Mr Davies will ensure the exercise is not repeated.

'Racing happens to be my passion, but I don't expect the taxpayer to fund it,' he says.

While these preliminary cuts may be local government heresy, what has really marked out Mr Davies for liberal opprobrium is his gratuitously provocative assault on what he calls 'the culture of political correctness'.
Seguid leyendo. El hombre se ha convertido en uno de los políticos con más impacto del país. Si hubiese alguien así en España...