The former political boss of West Midlands public transport has attacked his successors for letting democracy suffer while they increase their own financial allowances.
As predicted in The Birmingham Post last week, the West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority yesterday formally approved a move to a cabinet-style system, which will see key portfolioholding councillors - lead members on rail, metro, buses and other areas - play a bigger role in policies.
The shake-up is aimed at making councillors more responsible and accountable, rather than Centro, which technically only acts on WMPTA decisions.
While the overall pot of tax payers' money used to pay councillors' allowances will remain unchanged, some members will have significant increases - the body's Labour vice chairman, Coun Paul Allen, will see his allowance jump by more than £6,000 to £17,500 a year.
Richard Worrall, chairman of the authority until last year when he lost his seat on Walsall Council, was scathing about the decision.
"The real casualty in all of this is the fragile flower of democracy: if the structure adopted reduces the possibility for most members to play their full part in the work of the authority, while centralising power in the hands of a minority, democracy and sign-up suffer and there is no guarantee whatsoever of improved performance.
"What does improve is the amount of financial reward for the key figures and if part of the package is also, as in this instance, to further increase the basic allowance for everyone, even though the role of the non-cabinet members is reduced, then these things can and do get approved."
A spokesman for the WMPTA denied basic allowances would change and defended the increases for councillors filling new roles.
"All members of the PTA will play a full role, there will be no back seats," he said.
PTA chairman Coun Gary Clarke, whose allowance rises £1,542 per year to £24,500, said: "Lead members will have a very timeconsuming role and they will have to get results. If they don't they will find someone else takes their place."