Liberal Democrats slam Burnham’s “gravy-train of expensive deputy mayors”

OLDHAM Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has slammed Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham after it emerged that his former deputy, Baroness Beverley Hughes will earn £45,000 this year, despite resigning her position in January. 

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) – which Burnham heads – has decided to extend Hughes’s ‘temporary’ tenure as ‘Assistant Deputy Mayor’.  Councillor Sykes blasted Burnham for “creating a gravy train of expensive deputy mayors” whilst pointing to frontline emergency services (police, fire) that could make better use of the funds.

Cllr Howard Sykes

Hughes resigned in January from her role overseeing police, crime, and the fire service.  It was then agreed that she would stay on in a newly created paid role as Assistant Deputy Mayor for six months.  That period is now over, and her contract has just been extended for a further six months.

The Deputy Mayor position that Hughes formerly held is now held by Kate Green, the former Labour MP from Trafford.  Meanwhile, Salford Council’s Labour Leader Paul Dennett is Mr Burnham’s second Deputy Mayor.

Councillor Sykes said, “Does Greater Manchester really need two Deputy Mayors and an Assistant Deputy Mayor?  This just looks like the GMCA is creating meaningless jobs for Labour bigwigs.  There are questions that need answering here.  How long will this go on for?  Will the contract be renewed again in another six months’ time? With frontline emergency services on their knees, surely this money could be better spent on our police or fire services.”

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