Petitions to be launched across the borough

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A CAMPAIGN is being launched to beat off some of the effects of Government spending cuts by slashing the number of Wigan borough councillors.

Bouyant Euro-sceptic party UKIP will launch a petition outside the Grand Arcade in Wigan town centre on Saturday morning demanding major changes in the debating chamber.

They want the number of councillors to be axed by a third ... from 75 to 50.

As the standard pay allowance for back bench councillors in Wigan is £11,682.10 per annum that would save at least £584,105 a year, even before subsistence and mileage allowances are taken into consideration.

Council chiefs declined today to comment on the ground-breaking cash saving proposals.

However, council leader Lord Smith said that any such change would need Whitehall legislation to effect and claimed the petitioning again demonstrated that UKIP were showing its “ignorance of how things actually work”.

Wigan and Makerfield UKIP campaigner Alan Freeman (pictured right) said: “We will be holding petition stalls throughout the borough.

“We want to allow the public to register their anger at our councillors who ignore public demands to reduce their numbers in the council chamber and their ever increasing expenses and allowances.

“Everyone in Wigan and Makerfield has been affected by council cuts, including the sackings of loyal front line council workers. We feel the burden should be shared with the people who make the cuts decisions - the councillors.”