The Torquay-based Herald Express is calling on all of Torbay’s councillors to resign their posts.
In a bold front-page editorial comment under the headline “resign”, editor Brendan Hanrahan urged all 36 coucillors to quit immediately.
And the result of a phone poll after the coverage showed 2,068 readers backed his stance, with just 213 voting “no”.
Brendan’s comments follow a rise in council tax of 10.1 per cent for the year, and a 35 per cent increase in councillor allowances – for which a working party has now been set up to look at ways of reducing the amount.
He said: “We are convinced this is the only way to put a democratic and fair end to the scandal and farce over councillors’ allowances and indefensible rises in council tax.
“This has brought the name of Torbay into disrepute locally and nationally. This could harm our number one industry of tourism, which in turn will hit small traders.
“The people of Torbay are perplexed and some are apoplectic with rage. Business confidence is shattered in a body that has utterly lost touch with the 129,000 people it must serve.
“Thirty-six free and fair by-elections, not necessarily on the same day, should produce a good turnout and a new council of people who want to serve, not salivate at the thought of a runaway cash gravy train.”
He said that the paper regretted having to involve councillors who had voted against the huge rise in allowance payments, but said that the most democratic way to solve the situation would be for all 36 to resign and then stand again.
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