STAFF REPORTER
PALMA City Council will be tightening its belt from next month onwards with a whole series of measures designed to complement the civil servant salary cuts imposed by Central Government.

The use of mobile telephones will be limited, as many as six official cars will be removed from service and 15 percent of senior positions on the Council will be made redundant.

Economy Councillor, Andreu Alcover said yesterday that the City Council would lose two cars as would four public companies working for the council including Emaya, the municipal water management and rubbish collection company. Only two official cars would remain in permanent use during the weekday mornings, confirmed Alcover, but the Mayor would continue to have one at her disposal 24 hours a day.

Mobile phone use would be restricted for all those who held one provided to them by the City Council; neither general staff, municipal chiefs, councillors nor those in senior positions would escape the crackdown. Instructions have been given to only use the facility when it is “absolutely necessary” in the line of duty, said Alcover. Investigation will be made into just who has the right to keep using Council-provided mobiles, the costs of which at the end of the day are paid by the public.

The aim of the cuts is to make a contribution to the national effort to bring down the country's deficit. The savings by the Council are forecast to be more than 3 million euros this year and 6.6 million in 2011.

Cuts in civil servant salaries are programmed to be around 6 percent and up to 9 percent for those in senior positions. The Mayor of Palma, Aina Calvo is the only civil servant who will have her pay docked by 9 percent whilst deputy mayors, city councillors, party spokesmen and senior municipal councillors will have their salary cut by 8 percent.

Opposition councillors and department directors will have 7 percent less in their pay packets at the end of each month. The gradual process of introducing salary cuts will also be applied to heads of public companies and regional institutions in the pay of the government.

Other complementary savings include 360'000 euros by “freezing” seven senior positions, technically on the payroll of Palma City Council but which in fact are currently vacant.

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