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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - TORBAY DESERVES BETTER

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Torbay Council leader Chris Harris's (Lib Dem) attack on directly elected mayors (LGC, 30 July) fails to recognise ...
Torbay Council leader Chris Harris's (Lib Dem) attack on directly elected mayors (LGC, 30 July) fails to recognise the vision, leadership, accountability and drive they have brought to their councils.

Like all politicians he uses figures to hide the truth. The facts are that within six months of gaining control of Torbay, the Lib Dems gave themselves two allowance increases which raised the overall bill to council tax payers by 65%.

After massive public protest and months of prevarication, they reduced this to a 43% hike. It was like a football manager predicting his team would lose 10-0 and then claiming a 7-0 defeat was actually a victory.

Mr Harris equates what he gets as leader of the council with what a directly elected mayor would be paid, without mentioning that a mayor would be expected to work with a slimmed-down Cabinet and dramatically reduce the special allowances.

The cost of a referendum is a one-off. There are many of us in Torbay who believe it will be worth the money and we are determined to give the public the true facts so they can make up their own minds.

Torbay is too small to be a unitary authority - the experiment has been a failure. We cannot return to the old system but we can and must do better.

David Scott

Lead campaigner for elected mayor for Torbay

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