The Mayor of Doncaster
News of astonishing political reform arrived in our email today from Andrew Edwards. (We didn't have the link before. Here it is.)
On his first morning as Mayor of Doncaster in South Yorkshire , Peter Davies cut his salary from £73,000 to £30,000 then closed the council’s newspaper for "peddling politics on the rates".
Now three weeks into his job, Mr Davies is pressing ahead with plans he hopes will see the number of town councillors cut from 63 to just 21, saving taxpayers £800,000.
. . .He has withdrawn Doncaster from the Local Government Association and the Local Government Information Unit, saving another £200,000. Mr Davies said, "They are just talking shops".
"Doncaster is in for some serious untwinning. We are twinned with probably nine other cities around the world and they are just for people to fly off and have a binge at the council’s expense".
The mayor’s chauffeur-driven car has also been axed by Mr Davies and the driver given another job. Mr Davies, born and bred in Doncaster, swept to power in the May election with 24,244 votes as a candidate for the English Democrats, a party that wants tight immigration curbs, an English Parliament and a law forcing every public building to fly the flag of St. George.
He has promised to end council funding for Doncaster's International Women’s Day, Black History Month and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month.
He said, "Politicians have got completely out of touch with what people want.
"We need to cut costs. I want to pass on some savings I make in reduced taxes and use the rest for things we really need, like improved children’s services".
A retired teacher, Davies taught politics at the local comprehensive, where he inspired students for 30 years. (His son Philip serves as MP for Shipley and as chair of the Freedom Association's campaign - Better Off Out of the EU.) The chair of the cricket association for 20 years, Davies faces a different challenge as mayor.
We hope his reforms - cutting waste and allocating money to children - sweep the country. It will be crucial to free local government from the dead hand of government in Westminster, which has taken local revenues and now dictates much local spending - along with Brussels.
If you missed it, you might want to look at Lord Willoughby de Broke's constitutional reforms, which include restoring self-rule to local people.