Q: Who is Richard Davies?
Having being born and raised in Grantham and the surrounding area I know Grantham has a great deal to offer. With the current economic difficulties it is now more important than ever to ensure that our county council is run efficiently and effectively in order to support our town.
Priorities For Grantham
Continue to keep Council Tax as low as possible. We have one of the lowest rates in the country and want to keep it that way.
Promote and support Grantham businesses by making the town centre accessible and competitive.
Employment – encourage businesses to move to the area to provide skilled jobs for the people of Grantham.
Improve Grantham as a place to live and work. Our town has a lot to offer but can be done to improve facilities.
Education – Preserve the quality and variety of local schools allowing parents to make a genuine choice that is right for their child.
Protect local people by keeping hospital services accessible in Grantham. We need a real solution for the future.
Strive to improve transport links and reduce congestion. Less traffic, more parking.
OCCUPATION AND SUMMARY CAREER DETAILS:
After leaving school, King’s Grammar School in Grantham, I joined the Royal Navy Thunderer Squadron RNR as a weapons engineering officer. This gave me first hand experience of managing groups of highly qualified and experienced people. I left the Navy and spent time in the United States as an information technology consultant specialising in hardening computer systems against hackers.
I returned home to Lincolnshire and setup up my own ICT business, Agincourt, which specialises in application development and IT support, and in addition I co-founded LearnLog which specialises in developing mobile applications for the education market. Both of the businesses have given me first hand experience of business management.
In June 2009 I was fortunate to be elected onto Lincolnshire County Council where until standing for this election I chaired the Highways, Transport and Technology Scrutiny committee which has put me at the heart of the council’s technology and management process.
I spent three years on Lincolnshire Police Authority and served as lead member for Protective Services. This work gave me a unique insight into the daily operation of all aspects of policing in Lincolnshire.
VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY WORK:
I have worked extensively in the business community in South Lincolnshire having previously been Vice-Chairman of the Grantham Business Club and until recently been on the board of South Kesteven Federation of Small Business.
Having been a Trustee of GIFTS (Grantham Hospice) I sat on the board of St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice. This challenging and often overlooked aspect of healthcare has proved to be an invaluable asset for the wider Lincolnshire community and my work focused around business process and community engagement.
The ‘Big Society’ hit the ground running in Grantham after our museum was closed and a local group was established to reopen it. I co-founded the Grantham Community Heritage Association Charity and help keep this valuable asset running smoothly.
Part of my role as local councillor sees me sitting as a governor at our local primary school. Gonerby Hill Foot C of E school.
My family are hugely important to me and I’m pleased to have settled in Lincolnshire with them.
Aside from my family and politics my real passion is the outdoors, especially with my dogs, and in particular walking around the hills and coastline of the UK.
Q: What are Richard's business, property and political interests?
- Agincourt Design Ltd – consultant
- Charity: Grantham Community Heritage Association – co-founder
- Bramble Cottage, 21 Carlton Road, Hough on the Hill, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG32 2BG
- 24A Main Street, Wilsford, Lincolnshire, NG31 3NP
- Lincolnshire County Council – Elected Member
- Portfolio holder Highways Transport & Technology
- Conservative Party – Member
Q: How much has Richard earned/claimed from the public sector?
Richard joined Lincolnshire County Council in June 2009.
Lincolnshire County Council
- He earned £10,100.00 per annum as a county councillor.
- He earned an additional £18,000 per annum as portfolio holder.
- He claims 45 pence per mile travel expenses. In 2014/15 total expense claim was £1548.90
Q: To save money why not reduce the number of councillors and/or cut their allowances and expenses?
A:In light of further reductions in its Government funding and rising demand for services, the authority needs to save an additional £90m annually by 2019.
In light of further reductions in its Government funding and rising demand for services, the authority needs to save an additional £90m annually by 2019.
Combined with the £150m of savings made over the last few years, that means the council’s budget (excluding schools) will have been almost halved over the decade.
One of the frequent suggestions is that we reduce the number of councillors:
Lincolnshire County Council has 77 councillors who in 2013/14 cost £1,096,000 in allowances and expenses.
The annual revenue budget of the authority is £1,098,700,000 so the cost of the councillors is approximately 0.1% of the annual budget.
So even if we were to get rid of all councillors (and therefore lose all democratic accountability) we’d only save about 1% of the saving we need.
In addition it’s not within our gift to alter the number of councillors. However the Local Government Boundary Commission is reviewing the arrangements for Lincolnshire, and I personally would like to see just 50 councillors representing a unitary council for the whole county – this would save at least £20M by recent estimates. It looks like we’ll be reducing the number of councillors by 9.
Q: To save money why not reduce senior management?
With staff costs representing a significant portion of spend (45% in 2014/15 budget) it is necessary to look at reducing this cost when having to make savings. The last few years has seen the senior management team reduced by 30% already.
The latest round of management restructuring will reduce the number of employees earning more than £50,000 from 144 to 120 which represents a saving of £1,457,000 (from £9,566,000 to £8,109,000 annual cost). Current total employees, excluding schools, is approximately 5,000.
Clearly even sacking every senior manager wouldn’t saved the required £90M and would lead the organisation hopelessly adrift. Despite the soundbites you cannot run large organisations without a management structure and good people need rewarding. Historically I am concerned that the public sector has been too much of a closed shop and I am pleased that a number of recent senior management appointments have gone to non career public sector workers – we need the brightest and the best and not continue the local government merry-go-round.
This doesn’t mean that it’s a done deal and I’m committed to looking at working as efficiently as possible moving forward – any suggestions? Get in touch!