Jun 2009 12

Earlier this week the Local Government Association published the summary findings of their survey of councillors' allowances but refused to release the details of the various allowances council by council. I'm pleased to say that thanks to a number of sympathetic councillors we are now in possession of the full table and can publish it for all to see.

To view the full information for your council click here to open the (rather swanky) spreadsheet, and click the drop down Select Authority list.

Amazingly, the LGA told ConservativeHome that whilst they'd published the full breakdown in previous years, "given the current climate we would like to be a little more circumspect about disseminating it at thie time." Which means that they are well aware the continued above-inflation increases in councillors' allowances are indefensible, so instead of do the right thing they have decided simply to keep the truth secret.

They don't deserve to get away with that, so we have decided to publish the information for all to see. Let the sunlight in.

Mark is a writer and political campaigner, ardent libertarian and eurosceptic.

  • Phil Whittington

    Hi TPA guys,
    Congratulations as always on the excellent work.
    I don’t think this covers every council.
    I can’t see Tower Hamlets (my own council) – where I am an active Conservative campaigner seeking some honesty from the Labour majority there :)

  • Justin Downes Residents First

    TPA are the only organisation fighting these outrageous inflation igniting claims.
    No MP has ever criticised these increases, presumably because their own moral position is so precarious.
    I have twice written to Caroline Spelman demanding that she explain the huge pay differentials between the Leaders of Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea. She is clearly highly embarrassed that the Leader of the last named is pocketing nearly £70,000 pa for a part time job. This has to be the reason for her refusal to respond.
    So much for her fatuous claim to be listening to the people but then we still await the outcome of the Standards Committee’s investigation into her own ‘expenses’ problem

  • http://www.father-ignatius-brown.com Father Ignatius Brown

    Have to say that I think the LGA is foolish not to publish this – since it merely fuels the fires of suspicion. Furthermore there is a lot of positive information in the document (not least how little my local councillors earn).
    Now I am not a councillor (although I have been closely involved in various parish councils in my time) but I once considered running for election in my district, so took the time to find out more about the job.
    I was amazed by the amount of work that councillors had to do and how poorly they were paid. Most of them work full time to earn a living and then dedicate numerous evenings every month to running public services, for a pittance of pay, very few perks and one heck of a lot of complaining from ungrateful and often lazy residents; many of whom can’t be bothered to pick up so much as a scrap of litter outside their own front door let alone volunteer to do anything worthwhile in their community.
    So yes, blast the fat cats, challenge the inefficiencies of multi-tier local government and castigate those who enter public office for self-enrichment. But don’t besmirch the vast majority of local councillors who just happen to feel passionately about helping to make their community safe, clean and caring.
    Blessings on those who serve to lead.
    Father Ignatius Brown

  • http://www.penrhadwfarm.co.uk Michael Hurley

    Congratulations,but why have you not covered Wales?
    I am particularly interested in my local authority,Merthyr Tydfil.Please can you help.

  • Hope

    Kent County Council comes out top again for the ‘fat cat’ part-time salary paid out to councillors.As well as having the highest paid ‘fat cat’ chief executive in the country Peter Gilroy.
    No surprise there then, all jobs for the boys & girls, look at how many try to get their relatives elected, all aboard the gravy train.
    How many are also ex-officers of KCC? Sandy Bruce Lockharts (deceased)one of the safest seats in the country, couldnt have been a reference given by the conservative leader,could there?

  • Gladys MacRae FCCA

    Well said Father Ignatius Brown. The headline grabbing sensationalism should be left to the tabloids. I support the goals of the TaxPayers’ Alliance. But, headlines like “Councillors’ Allowances Exposed” is not worthy of the work you do.
    I had a look on your list and agree with Father Brown. Councillors’ pay is a pittance compared the the number of hours they put in – in their spare time. In fact, I would say the wage is close to the National Min Wage. Meetings are invariably in the evenings because most hold down a day-job. Yes, some London Borough Councillors seem to be paid a lot more than the others, but, please do not tar them all with the same brush!!!!
    Gladys MacRae

  • Kate

    Doesn’t cover Lewisham or Lambeth either. Explanation?

  • Mike Reynolds

    Well done TPA this is the type of information that should always be available to every tax payer and of course isn’t that easy to get.
    Keep pushing for this type of openness until hopefully it will become the norm.
    I look forward to the same being provided for all MP’s and eventually all civil servants.

  • http://theantipolitician.wordpress.com/ Greg

    Great job, could someone give us a summary of the findings? Are they as scandalous as the MPs?

  • William Alcock

    I would be pleased if you would publish the claaims made by councilors in the Newcastle u Lyme Staffs, I cannot fint in your list.
    Well Done William Alcock 01782 510974

  • William Alcock

    Sorry about the spelling my fingers act faster than my brain.
    W Alcock

  • Nigel C

    Not every council responded to the LGA survey. You should be able to find any allowance scheme on the authorities own website

  • Nice Boy Nigel

    “Councillor Allowances Exposed”
    A rather grand claim, given that these allowances have been published proactively by Councils by law for at least the last five years.
    The allowances are hardly excessive – those moaning should stand for election or shut up.

  • Byron Grainger-Jones

    Having been an elected member (and Portfolio Holder) of my own local authority, Waverley in Surrey, for four years, I was always aware of the massive disparity in Allowances as between different Authorities in the UK. It’s excellent that the TPA has done such good work in highlighting such disparities, but surely the Local Government Association or somesuch body should be advocating harmonisation of these Allowances, according to population, rural/ urban characteristics, and other key data?

  • Pauline Jorgensen

    Very interesting to see the comparison, thank you for publishing it. As a Wokingham Borough Councillor (and a completely unremunerated Town Councillor) who certainly didn’t stand for the money I think transparency is essential. I suggest you take another look at the data for Wokingham Borough, it doesn’t seem to be quite right. The correct data is on the Borough Web site.