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Row over local councillor’s pay

Political row erupts over local councillor’s pay http://bit.ly/Y93rG4

Do you think your local councillors should be given larger allowances for the work they do? They currently get around £10,000 a year but use money from that allowance for events and campaigns around the borough.
Does anyone think our local councillors should be employed full-time with an annual salary? At the moment they only work part-time and typically have to supplement there income with another job.

Comments

Showing 18 of 18
Stephanie N
Cabinet members and those with special responsibility allowances earn much more, it's all on public record.  Check the websites.
David H
£10,000 is entry level. Cabinet Members get around £32,000.00 and the leader of the council over £40,000.00, Not bad for a part time job.  I would urge anyone who is interested to attend the many committee meetings that are open to the pubilic, listen to the debates and then you can make your own mind up regarding value for money.
Bill E inactive
The Leader of Havering is on over £60,000

Havering,s councillors Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA) are on average 50% higher than the average for London.

Are you aware this Conservative administration awarded itself a 31% increase in their SRA's?

Are you aware that Havering council was ranked joint third from bottom in London and their councillors are in the top 50 highest paid in the entire country.
David H
Thanks Bill, I was not aware that the Havering Conservative Administration had awarded a 32% increase in SRA's.  I have looked on the council website and can find no reference to it. But I have to correct my earlier post as I see that the pre increase allowance for the Leader of the Council is £51,000.00 and not as I stated.  We seem to have the same view of the ability of our local representatives, not neccessary just Tory's.  I am sure there must be some competency out there; lets hope so.
Bill E inactive

In 2007 the basic allowance for a Councillor was £9,255 and the Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) for a cabinet member was £25,110.

 This Conservative administration increased the SRA,s by an average of 31% and the SRA for a cabinet member increased to £32,705 plus the increased basic allowance of £10,208

 The regulatory committee chairman (Licencing) in Havering is paid on average 75% more than any other Licencing chair in the Greater London Authority and he is paid up to 150% more than some.

 It is exactly the same story with the chair of Havering’s Planning committee.

It is all on the councils web site under “council and democracy” but when you click the link to go to councillor allowances it says “Page Not Found”…

http://www.havering.gov.uk/Pages/Councilanddemocracy.aspx

Ho-Hum inactive
If councillors were truly public spirited they would work for free.  However, I've nothing against councillors receiving a fair remuneration for their said goodwill and effort but when it's  tantamount to a substantial salary, in my view, is entirely wrong.

Of course, there's the perks too, don't spoil them...no way!
Ray Harris
I don't agree with you Ho-Hum about councillors working for nothing.  Consider a councillor in the Cabinet having responsibility for a budget amounting to three quarters of a billion pounds turnover versus say a backbench MP who has responsibility for nothing!!  I am afraid that in local government there are also  few perks.  There is no generous expenses allowance, or second home or concessionary travel costs, etc that apply to MPs.  When I was Labour Leader of Havering Council the allowance for Leader of the Council was £12,000 and a Cabinet member £7,500.  If someone were to give up their job to undertake that role the amount would be insufficient, but the Tories not only hiked up the allowances to the levels they did when they took control, but most of those receiving the highest allowances were also in full-time employment.  I do agree that there needs to be a balance between giving time for public service and ensuring that those who undertake those roles do not suffer financial detriment (otherwise all you get standing for office are those who have retired or who can afford to make the financial sacrifice).  However, one of the gripes I have is that not only are the responsibility allowances paid in Havering amongst the highest in London (and the rest of the country) but they are paid to more members of the council than any other council that I am aware of.
Matthew G
Ray, isn't the chief executive of the council (who I assume is paid a substantial six figure sum, and does the job full time) the one responsible for the £0.75bn budget?
du
The only way to get decent councillors is to pay them or you end up with local old age pensioners or rich people who do it for back handers.
They deserve a decent wage,My only comment is we do not need so many one per ward full time is enough.
In the old days when unpaid councillors did a few hours work and had to use letters and attend open meetings and deal with ward problems you could justify three.However now one full time councillor using e mail and video conferencing is more than enough per ward.Poor old Tucker suggested this and got howled down as the Turkeys would not vote for Christmas.
Ho-Hum inactive
Too much pay will only attract scoundrels...some might say it already has.
Ho-Hum inactive
Does anyone think our local councillors should be employed full-time with an annual salary? At the moment they only work part-time and typically have to supplement there income with another job?

Surely it's the other way round...allowances supplementing their regular job or more like a gratuity adding to their regular job's pay.  Apart from that how much service can councillors give the community while doing their regular work.  Ten grand a year is very substantial for part time work as a councillor, in my view.
Ray Harris
Matthew the Chief Executive is "Head of Paid Service" which means she is responsible for oversight of the operational services of the Council and the staff who provide them.  She also provides policy advice to the elected members of the Council.  However, the political and strategic direction of the Council and decisions about spending priorities rests with the Cabinet.  So, for example, a decision to reduce the overall budget allocations to schools and to re-direct the money into other priorities (eg elderly care or street care) would be a political decision made by the elected representatives.  So the members don't do the actual spending or procurement but they have to make all the major spending decisions.  My comparison with a backbench MP was to illustrate the respective levels of decision-making in the context of remuneration packages.  An MP without a ministerial or shadow responsibility has no direct responsibility for anything.  They make written representations for lots of constituents, but in my experience of attending MP 'surgeries' many of those representations are to housing, social services and other local departments and are often referred to a councillor to deal with anyway.
du
Indeed one full time councillor per ward paid a decent salary and set targets by the voters.
Pam D
Yes Ixion and they also need to apply for the position as you would for any job and everything has to be transparent.

In other words - completely different to how the last election was run!
Steve W
instead of paying councillors £10.000 per year would it not be in the interest of residents that they are only paid when they attend meetings look at your councillors  and see how many go to all meetings but they still get the £10.000
Val R
Who came up with the stupid idea that councillors spend their allowances in their wards putting on events etc, what a load of rubbish.

The suggestion that readers here look at the attendance figures for councillors is a good one you will then see just who is banking 10,000 a year for nothing.

certainly there are more full time workers on B & D council this time round, but there are also i understand more on benefits so they wont want a pay rise will they.
Ray Harris
The idea of attendance allowance is laughable!!  In the House of Lords they get £250 a day for signing in - they can then leave and not make any contribution but they still get their allowance.  Those of us who spent a lifetime doing real jobs, where you turned up and were expected to do a fair days work for a fair days pay, can only look at these people with envy!  How could we have got it so wrong?  When you look at Lord Hanningfield, who I knew as Tory Leader of Essex County Council, obviously walking his dog before getting a taxi to the station and claiming his overnight stay in London, I want to come back in my next life either as a drug baron or a Tory Peer.  I probably haven't got long to decide!!
Johnny G
Pay them the minimum wage and expect the same level of performance and accountability, sort the wheat from the chaff, then we'll see if half of 'em scroats or not.

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