Council officers are obliged, under their conditions of employment to, maintain political neutrality. Curiously the Chief Executive of Barnsley Council, Phil Coppard is unaware of this. His intellectually rigorous contribution to the challenging times for municipal finances is to describe Eric Pickles as a "clown" for suggesting there are alternatives to cutting front line services. How are the six strong Conservative Group on the Council expected to have confidence in his impartiality and professionalism after this crass outburst?
If Coppard is incapable of coming up savings that don't involve cutting key services then he should go and make way for someone more capable. That would also allow the saving of his salary – which the Council refused to disclose to the Taxpayers Alliance.