Congratulations to Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh (pictured on Christmas Day in Hammersmith Town Hall at the pensioners lunch), the tax cutting leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, who has been named Pin-Up of the Month by the TaxPayers Alliance. Their Pinhead of the Month is Jerzy Buzek MEP, President of the European Parliament as "the driving force behind proposals agreed this month by the Parliament’s Budget Committee to spend nearly €150 million on the purchase and renovation of buildings in both Strasbourg and Brussels."
Jonathan Isaby, Political Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, commented:
“The TaxPayers’ Alliance has always believed that key to delivering taxpayer value for money is exposing those in power to public scrutiny by ensuring that there is transparency and openness in how they spend our hard-earned cash. And as well as making examples of those who have shown a disregard for public money, it is important to recognise those who have tried to do the right thing by taxpayers.
“During his time as leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Stephen Greenhalgh has demonstrated exactly how a local authority can reduce the burden on council tax payers whilst protecting – and indeed improving – frontline services. He has set an example that his counterparts around the country should be seeking to emulate, with the recently-announced council tax cut for next year just the latest good news to emerge from his Borough.
“Cllr Greenhalgh should also be congratulated for substantially reducing the council’s debts – a move which will ensure the authority is on a sound financial footing for the long term. He is a veritable latter day giant of local government and is a worthy Pin-Up of the Month.”
“Whereas Stephen Greenhalgh has actively sought to deliver taxpayer value by selling under- or unused buildings, the same cannot be said of Jerzy Buzek, who is instead overseeing an expansion of the European Parliament’s property portfolio in both Strasbourg and Brussels. It remains a very expensive nonsense for taxpayers that the European Parliament maintains offices and buildings in two separate cities, not to mention the associated travelling costs for MEPs and staff. Mr Buzek should be using his position to work towards ending this travelling circus, not reinforcing it.
“What’s more, as governments and households everywhere are tightening their belts, European Union institutions should be downsizing, not expanding, so British taxpayers will be angry that their money is going towards making the Brussels bureaucracy ever more bloated. Whilst national governments look for items to cut from their expenditure, Mr Buzek and those in charge of the European Parliament are spending additional hundreds of millions not only on new buildings, but on propaganda temples like the recently-opened “Parlamentarium” and the planned “European House of History”. Mr Buzek evidently thinks that these are productive and sensible uses of taxpayers’ money, which is why he is our Pinhead of the Month.”