Snouts in the trough – 2015 edition

27 Jul

Newham has published its annual report on the allowances paid to councillors in the previous financial year – April 2014 to March 2015.

The report lists all councillors who served in the financial year 2014-15 and as this was an election year it includes those who left office in May 2014, as well as those who were re-elected and those joining council for the first time.

It’s further complicated by Alec Kellaway dying shortly after the election and his being replaced by Tonii Wilson in a by-election a few months later. And by Charlene McLean being removed from office for non-attendance in March. She re-elected in May 2015.

Altogether 81 different people served as elected members in the period covered. Between them they claimed a total of £1,234,457 in allowances. Of that, £638,712 was paid as basic allowances, £592,869 as ‘special responsibility allowances’ (including the whole of the mayor’s £81,029 allowance) and £2,876 in other allowances (travel, childcare, phone etc.).

Though you wouldn’t know any of this by reading the report. It doesn’t provide totals for individual members or overall.

As ever – and quite deliberately – it has used a format that makes it unnecessarily awkward for anyone to work with. Would it really kill them to give us an Excel or .csv file?

So who gets the most? Well obviously that’s the Dear Leader. But look at the top ten earners among councillors:

Name Basic £ SRA £ Other £ Total £
R WALES 0 81,029 0 81,029
L HUDSON 10,734 36,977 0 47,711
R CRAWFORD 10,734 34,012 240 44,986
I CORBETT 10,734 34,012 0 44,746
F HUSSAIN 10,734 32,977 184 43,895
C FURNESS 10,734 32,977 100 43,811
E ROBINSON 10,734 32,977 100 43,811
A BAIKIE 10,734 32,977 0 43,711
U DESAI 10,734 32,977 0 43,711
K CLARK 9,118 27,458 180 36,756
A McALMONT 10,734 24,542 750 36,026

All but one are men. The only exception is Ellie Robinson. Yet again.

Aside from Anthony McAlmont, who is the ‘independent’ chair of Overview and Scrutiny, all those listed above are full-time councillors with ‘special responsibilities’ that require them to work 5 days a week on council business. Including Sir Robin that’s 10 full-time politicians we’re paying for. If the mayor is serious about finding £50 million in cuts I can think of one easy ways to make savings!

Don’t feel too sorry for Ken Clark: his earnings are suppressed by the fact he was only elected in May 2014 and therefore has seven weeks’ less pay to report than his peers.

For those of a nostalgic bent, here are the previous editions of ‘snout in the trough’:

  • 2011 edition – “Newham Councillors Paid More Than £1.2 million in Allowances”
  • 2012 edition – “Snouts in the trough – again”
  • 2013 edition – “Snouts in the trough – 2013 edition”
  • 2014 edition – “Money (that’s what I want)”

3 Responses to “Snouts in the trough – 2015 edition”

  1. Taff July 31, 2015 at 09:50 #

    Perhaps this explains why poor Cllr Clark thinks the Olympic park and RDV homes are “affordable”? On his generous – “provided to you by the Mayor of Newham” – allowance / salary (delete depending on whether you are an employee with a fat pension or not) they may well be affordable …..

  2. law27 August 1, 2015 at 17:25 #

    It should also be noted that Cllr Clark’s partner has a well paid job in the mayor’s office.

  3. Leigh Delcine August 31, 2015 at 22:57 #


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