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Ealing and Northfield Public sector waste

Councillors’ allowances

No doubt there will be lots of comment on today’s piece in the Evening Standard looking at councillors’ allowances. The table above is reproduced from the Evening Standard. I hope they will consider that fair use!

The article talks about Freedom of Information requests but you can pull the same stuff off the council’s website here so I think they are exaggerating a bit. I would be surprised if any councils don’t publish this stuff as a matter of course.

These allowances are a big expense for any council and I personally am a bit conflicted about them. I have done a lot of volunteering in my time and I would still be a councillor if there were no allowances. I know there are some people who couldn’t be a councillor if there was not some kind of allowance. They were introduced I understand because there were problems with expenses. The allowances are taxable and councillors claim no expenses as a rule. Every time they drive anywhere on council business, park, use an envelope, put a stamp on it the cash comes out of this taxable allowance. It doesn’t use it all up but by the time you have paid tax and expenses you don’t have much cash to show for it. I don’t want to sound like an old sexist (I am sure this is equally true for women councillors) but it would be much harder to justify the amount of time I spend on council and residents’ business to my wife if I didn’t have an allowance.

From this table it does look like the three Labour mayors of Newham, Lewisham and Hackney look after themselves very well. Our leader, Jason Stacey, is a bargain. He gave up a very good job to become a full time leader. You only have to look at some of the timestamps on his e-mails to know what kind of hours he works. On top of the long hours he is actually a real star. £40K really is a steal.

2 replies on “Councillors’ allowances”

Phil, whilst the figures for Ealing look good.

We must remember that it was Stacey and Co who awarded themselves massive pay rises immediatly after winning the election in 2006 before he had actually done anything.

Jamie
It might interest you to know that every single labour councillor voted against that pay rise. How many of them do you think didn’t take it. I am a local cllr in ealing and if i work out my hourly rate, it is a very low rate but i am happy to do it because I enjoy the work. Like Phil, It would be very hard for me to explain to my Mrs that i have to go out again to another council meeting if i wasn’t getting paid for the job or was getting even less than i am getting.

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