The hidden perks inside Hull City Council

October 14, 2011 1:43 PM

In a report earlier this year, we revealed that many councils pay mileage rates to staff well above the HMRC recommended rate of 45p per mile. Hull was one of those councils.

In a report in the Yorkshire Post this week, it was revealed that not only are staff benefiting from generous rates of 65p per mile, but staff can also claim a petrol allowance on top of the mileage allowance of up to 11.3p per mile. This was news to me, and to the journalist I spoke to about it. I described it as another of the hidden perks inside Hull City Council, and something that needs to be rectified. Scrapping this allowance and reducing the mileage rate to 45p per mile will bring considerable savings to the council's budget.

It was also revealed that officers on Grade 12 or higher benefit from 33 days annual leave. Those on lower grades receive 25 days, rising to 26 after ten years service. The council also award two extra days leave to all staff in addition to the statutory public holidays. This means those earning above £42,066 a year are not only benefiting from hugely generous mileage rates when they travel on council business, they also receive 35 days holiday every year.

It is impossible to work out exactly how many officers there are benefiting from these additional days, as the council's accounts only list those earning above £50k. Instead of providing two lists of teaching and non-teaching staff (which many councils do), Hull does not list them separately. There are, however, over 300 staff listed in the accounts (page 61) who earn in excess of £50k. We can easily add many more who will be earning above £42,066. It is therefore safe to assume that the council would not need as many managers as it currently employs if only the amount of annual leave was reduced.

I'm pleased to say that the leader of the council, Cllr Steve Brady, is negotiating with the unions on these matters. However, this is not a guarantee that these perks will end, or that other perks won't be substituted for them. Hopefully everyone will see sense and realise that by reducing the mileage rates paid and reducing the amount of annual leave many officers receive, a significant contribution can be made towards balancing the books.

I would love to know if there are similar hidden perks in your council. If you know, please e-mail me. If you don't know, you can always send a freedom of information (FoI) request to find out. If you would like me to send you a FoI template, please do get in touch.In a report earlier this year, we revealed that many councils pay mileage rates to staff well above the HMRC recommended rate of 45p per mile. Hull was one of those councils.

In a report in the Yorkshire Post this week, it was revealed that not only are staff benefiting from generous rates of 65p per mile, but staff can also claim a petrol allowance on top of the mileage allowance of up to 11.3p per mile. This was news to me, and to the journalist I spoke to about it. I described it as another of the hidden perks inside Hull City Council, and something that needs to be rectified. Scrapping this allowance and reducing the mileage rate to 45p per mile will bring considerable savings to the council's budget.

It was also revealed that officers on Grade 12 or higher benefit from 33 days annual leave. Those on lower grades receive 25 days, rising to 26 after ten years service. The council also award two extra days leave to all staff in addition to the statutory public holidays. This means those earning above £42,066 a year are not only benefiting from hugely generous mileage rates when they travel on council business, they also receive 35 days holiday every year.

It is impossible to work out exactly how many officers there are benefiting from these additional days, as the council's accounts only list those earning above £50k. Instead of providing two lists of teaching and non-teaching staff (which many councils do), Hull does not list them separately. There are, however, over 300 staff listed in the accounts (page 61) who earn in excess of £50k. We can easily add many more who will be earning above £42,066. It is therefore safe to assume that the council would not need as many managers as it currently employs if only the amount of annual leave was reduced.

I'm pleased to say that the leader of the council, Cllr Steve Brady, is negotiating with the unions on these matters. However, this is not a guarantee that these perks will end, or that other perks won't be substituted for them. Hopefully everyone will see sense and realise that by reducing the mileage rates paid and reducing the amount of annual leave many officers receive, a significant contribution can be made towards balancing the books.

I would love to know if there are similar hidden perks in your council. If you know, please e-mail me. If you don't know, you can always send a freedom of information (FoI) request to find out. If you would like me to send you a FoI template, please do get in touch.

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