Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Tory EasyCouncil to get austerity-busting pay rises

Grant Shapps on the new Conservative Age of Austerity in local government:

"It is not justifiable for hikes in councillor allowances when public sector workers are facing a two-year pay freeze", Shapps said. "We're all in this together, and those who hold public office need to lead by example"

Which is news that has not been passed to the Tory leader of Barnet's "low-spending EasyCouncil" who is set to get a 55% pay rise:

EasyCouncil Leader allowance pre-austerity: £34,909

EasyCouncil Leader allowance post-austerity: £54,227

Under the proposals, Lynne Hillan would ditch allowance levels recommended by the "local independent remuneration panel."

She would instead accept the higher level recommended by the then Tory-run London Councils organisation.

Their "independent report" has also given cover for rises in Conservative-run Croydon council, although these were quickly ditched when the BBC turned up.

The Labour Mayor of Newham has also used the report to justify increasing his own pay by 2%.

Meanwhile the pay of Boris Johnson went up by a less-bang-for-your-buck 5% last year to £143,911.

And despite Shapps' call for a "‘sunlight’ of openness" for some reason the Mayor's salary is no longer easily accessible on the london.gov.uk website:

So much for austerity and openness.

-Update- Barnet Labour Group leader Cllr Alison Moore said today:
"It is absolutely obscene that at a time of savage service cuts, public sector pay freezes and anticipated job losses through the easyCouncil programme that top Barnet Tories are proposing to award themselves a pay increase of up to 50%. What's more this scheme will cost Barnet council tax-payers more money. Contrast this with our proposals - voted down by the Barnet Tories - in each of the last three years to cap councillors' allowances, which would have saved Barnet council tax-payers money"
Barnet TUC will be demonstrating against the rises outside Hendon Town Hall tonight.

*Wednesday Update*

Barnet Tories forced throught the rises last night against Labour and Lib Dem opposition. One Tory Councillor Kate Salinger abstained as a "matter of conscience."

She was then stripped of all her committee roles as a result. Councillor Brian Coleman said that residents would be "delighted" by the rises.

Grant Shapps told the BBC that Barnet should "For goodness sake show some leadership"


Anonymous said...

This Lynne Hillan is worth every penny!


Helen said...

I wonder if the Mayor's chickenfeed from the Torygraph's also been increased this year?

AdamB said...

Well "sunlight is the best disinfectant" after all so I'm sure he wouldn't object to telling his colleagues...

Brian Coleman aka Mr Toad has GOT to go said...

Is Lynne Hillan really Barnet's most loathsome? There's certainly some stiff competition.

AdamB said...

He's more of a London-wide concern these days.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

It’s all very well for Alison Moore to say this now, but history has proven her to be a completely ineffectual leader of the Labour opposition. At the last council elections, Labour made huge gains in London winning several councils from the Conservatives. Except in Barnet where the Tories actually increased their majority. Moore should resign and be replaced with a political fighter who knows how to provide decent opposition.

AdamB said...

The Barnet Times have picked up on this story now


Paul Webbewood said...

And where you live in Greenwich Adam, Labour Leader Chris Roberts received a Special Responsibility Allowance of £52,458 last year, which made him one of the highest paid council leaders in London despite Greenwich ranking as a below average Borough on most performance assessments.

AdamB said...

Hi Paul - Roberts is certainly not great value for money

Anonymous said...

What happened tonight, at the Barnet Council meeting?

Update please!!!

AdamB said...

Update on its way...

Anonymous said...

And there was me thinking that now David Cameron had made it into Downing Street the Conservative's were going to set an Example to us all whilse making painfull cuts. It looks a bit like some have already found a way around the pain. One rule or expectation should fit all in this Conservative so called Radical Approach.