Tories accused of manifesto U-turn

TORY chiefs have been criticised for an apparent “U-turn” on an election manifesto promise not to add to payroll costs and deliver value for money.Kevan Lim, deputy leader of the council's Labour group said the decision to boost the chief executive's salary contradicts the manifesto on which the current Tory administration was elected.

TORY chiefs have been criticised for an apparent “U-turn” on an election manifesto promise not to add to payroll costs and deliver value for money.

Kevan Lim, deputy leader of the council's Labour group said the decision to boost the chief executive's salary contradicts the manifesto on which the current Tory administration was elected.

In the manifesto, published prior to county council elections in 2005, current council leader Jeremy Pembroke pledged that decisions would be driven by “efficiency, effectiveness” as well as “value for money”.

In a section headed “bureaucracy” the manifesto stated that the council “cannot continue to add to payroll costs”.

Mr Lim claimed: “It is more than hypocritical.

“They told us they could not continue to provide free home care because of the financial position and they had to make savings to balance the books yet they can afford to fund a 60pc increase in the salary for the chief executive.

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“It is the worst kind of hypocrisy.”

An introductory section of the manifesto read: “Voting Conservative on May 5th is about voting for a better way for Suffolk, with policies driven by efficiency, effectiveness and the desire to give people value for money.

Meanwhile a section headed “bureaucracy”, criticised the then Labour administration for creating a “vast bureau-cratic empire”.

The manifesto read: “The council has a loyal and dedicated workforce but we cannot continue to add to our payroll costs, which already constitute 65pc of our revenue budget.

“Conservatives will work hard to ensure that Suffolk has all the front-line staff it needs, such as teachers and social workers but we will put an immediate hold on the recruitment of new non-front-line staff while we carry out an audit of such posts and introduce a process for assessing the need for new and replacement appointments.

“We will complement this with the introduction of a range of efficiency measures and staff incentives, to help ensure that in this respect as in all others, the council is giving the local taxpayer value for money, whilst providing opportunities for the development and advancement its staff.”

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