Gosport council scraps boards to save £10,000

Gosport Borough Council
Gosport Borough Council
Theresa May in Downing Street yesterday

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  • Gosport Borough Council has scrapped the licensing board and overview and scrutiny committee
  • The move will see the council save £10,200 from its 2016/17 budget
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TWO council boards have been axed in a bid to save an authority thousands of pounds.

Gosport Borough Council will no longer have a licensing board or an overview and scrutiny committee.

I was very surprised at the sudden announcement about the boards.

Cllr June Cully

The move will save £10,200 in the council’s 2016/17 budget as it faces further cuts from central government.

Leader of the council Mark Hook announced 
the changes at a budget meeting.

He said the duties of the licensing board will be taken over by the regulatory board.

The changes mean the council now has five boards; the regulatory board, the economic development, the community, the standards and governance committee and the policy and organisation.

But some councillors at the meeting said they were unhappy that no consultation had taken place.

Leader of the Labour Party on the council June Cully added: ‘I was very surprised at the sudden announcement about the boards.

‘I always felt the economic development board could drop to the policy and organisation board.

‘That would be a more satisfactory way to get the work done.

‘I do think we should have been consulted rather than it being announced as part of the budget.’

Fellow Labour councillor Dennis Wright agreed.

For Councillor Keith Gill the money saved is not as important as the boards themselves.

He said: ‘The roles of the boards are very important and the roles of the councillors on those are very important.

‘The £10,200 saved is a drop in the ocean compared to the whole budget.’

But Councillor Roger Allen, chairman of the licensing, supported the move.

He said the licensing board has very little to decide over.

The change comes as Gosport council saw its revenue support grant 
from central government reduced by 34 per cent, from £1.8m to £1.17m for this year’s budget.

Part of the money will be saved through special responsibility allowances given to councillors who chair the boards.

The extra allowance given to the licensing board chairman is £4,362 and the overview and scrutiny panel chairman is given an extra £3,270 for the additional responsibility.