CIVIC resources should not be wholly supporting the Mayor’s charitable fundraising, senior councillors have said.
Clarification about the role of the Kirklees Council’s Civic Office and council resources for the Mayor’s charity has been sought as the charitable work of the mayoral role has grown in recent years.
Council papers show that “leading councillors felt that the current use of civic resources to support charity activity was not appropriate”.
Last night Kirklees Cabinet backed entering into a formal agreement with the Mayor’s nominated charity as the best way forward. It will include the charity taking on accounting responsibilities.
The civic office will liaise with the charity in relation to the Mayor’s diary for events and help promote them.
David Smith, director of resources, said that at times of austerity using council staff to work for an outside organisation should be limited.
Mr Smith said: “We need to strike the right balance between the role of the mayor as civic head and civic representative out there in the community and the fundraising activities that are sometimes associated with the Mayor of Kirklees.
“Certainly in the early part of the year there would be required support in a transition period. But essentially officers are contributing to some of the administrations which should be devolved to the charity.”
The way forward prompted debate among the Cabinet and Clr Andrew Cooper.
Clr Cooper, head of the Green and Valley Independents group, was concerned it might impact on smaller local organisations who do not have the resources but would benefit from being associated with the Mayoral charity.
Clr Cooper asked Cabinet members to defer making a decision for some of the smaller organisations and former mayors to be consulted.
Clr Peter McBride, chair of the Cabinet meeting, said: “With these arrangements we will still be able to help in circumstances where the mayor has a smaller charity.”