Tag Archives: Special Responsibility Allowances

It’s a mans world

18 Jul

Details of the allowances paid to Newham councillors in the last financial year (to 31 March 2016) have been published in the Newham Mag.

As usual, every effort has been made to prevent residents doing anything useful with the information. The online version of the Mag is published in PDF and Word formats; and the Word version – from which the data could easily be cut-and-pasted into a spreadsheet – completely omits the allowances section!

The standalone version, which is a statutory requirement, has not yet been published on the council website, but when it is it will be a PDF.

Nonetheless, a few minutes work reveals that over the past year our elected representatives took a total of £1,241,206 in basic and ‘special responsibility’ allowances, plus an extra £2,456 in travel and telephone allowances.

Of course, these allowances were not evenly distributed. The mayor and his closest friends took the lion’s share. And ranking councillors by the total they received gives a very clear indication of the kind of people Sir Robin favours politically: men.

The top ten earners for 2015/16:

Name Total
R WALES £81,839
L HUDSON £48,577
I CORBETT £45,612
R CRAWFORD £44,982
F HUSSAIN £44,871
K CLARK £44,677
C FURNESS £44,637
A BAIKIE £44,577
U DESAI £44,577
A McALMONT £38,830

Clearly, you don’t just have be a dick to get on in Newham Labour politics, you have to have one too.

The payroll vote

9 Jun

Handful of cash 62 2021654a

Sir Robin has named his new team of Cabinet members, Mayoral Advisers and Community Lead Councillors. Fully 24 out of the 60 councillors have some form of ‘special responsibility’ for which they will receive an additional allowance. So almost half the council is on the mayoral payroll.

There have been a few notable changes, indicating those whose career prospects are currently on the up.

Cllr Forhad Hussain has enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks and is clearly now one of Sir Robin’s trusted inner circle. He is taking over the Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour portfolio previously held by Unmesh Desai. Cllr Hussain will continue to serve as deputy cabinet lead for Building Communities, working with Cllr Ken Clark, but he is giving up the role of community lead councillor for Plaistow. 

That position will be taken up by Cllr Hanif Abdulmuhit, who also retains his positions as Mayoral Advisor – Building Communities (Adult Care Integration) and community lead for Green Street. 

Just two years after being elected to council Forest Gate North’s Rachel Tripp joins the Cabinet, with responsibility for equalities. I hope that, unlike her predecessor in this role, she is going to be paid for it. Rachel will also continue to be Forest Gate’s lead councillor.

Cllr Mas Patel (Forest Gate South) continues as Mayoral Advisor – Building Communities (Mental Health Care Integration) and community lead for Stratford and West Ham. He’s getting some more time (and money, obviously) to spend on integrating mental health care. 

Likewise Idris Ibrahim is getting a bump in his allowance. He’ll be devoting additional time to his role as Mayoral Advisor – Building Communities (Early Years Integration) while remaining community lead for Custom House and Canning Town. He will be supported on Early Years work by Salim Patel, who also gets some extra bunce on top of his allowance for being Manor Park’s lead councillor.

The exceptionally loyal Cllr Tahmina Rahman has finally been rewarded with a brand new job – as Mayoral Advisor for New Media. It will be interesting to see what the job description says (although I won’t be holding my breath waiting for it to be published), but Newham has traditionally seen communications as a one-way process. If she can persuade Sir Robin that digital offers opportunities to engage with residents rather than just shout at them she will have earned her money. 

Finally, Cllr Joy Laguda. She is the chair of council, a position to which she is elected by councillors and requires her to be entirely independent of the executive. But Sir Robin is having none of that:

Whilst rules drawn up by out-of-touch Westminster politicians prohibit me from appointing Joy to the Cabinet, she has a wealth of knowledge about adult safeguarding which I am keen to draw upon to benefit residents.  I am therefore giving her the honorary title of Associate Cabinet Member, and will leave a Cabinet post vacant to reflect this. There is no additional payment associated with this role. Her role as Chair of Council and Civic Lead is separate to this appointment.


The full list of Sir Robin’s appointments:


  • Sir Robin Wales


  • Cllr Lester Hudson: Deputy Mayor, Finance, oneSource, Project Delivery and Commercial Opportunities
  • Cllr Ken Clark: Building Communities, Public Affairs, Regeneration and Planning
  • Cllr Frances Clarke: Financial Inclusion and Health Promotion
  • Cllr Forhad Hussain: Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour, Building Communities (Deputy)
  • Cllr Rev. Quintin Peppiatt: Children and Young People (Statutory Lead Member for Children’s Services, and Children’s Safeguarding)*
  • Cllr Lakmini Shah: Children’s Safeguarding (Deputy), Domestic Violence
  • Cllr Rachel Tripp: Equalities

Mayoral Advisers

  • Cllr Joy Laguda: Chair of Council (appointed by full Council), Civic Lead, Adult Safeguarding, and Associate Cabinet Member
  • Cllr Hanif Abdulmuhit: Building Communities – Adult Care Integration
  • Cllr Andrew Baikie: Housing
  • Cllr David Christie: Small Business Programme and Transformation
  • Cllr Ian Corbett: Environment and Leisure
  • Cllr Richard Crawford: Resident Experience
  • Cllr Clive Furness: Adults and Health (Lead Member for Adults’ Services)
  • Cllr Idris Ibrahim: Building Communities – Early Years Integration
  • Cllr Julianne Marriott: Regeneration
  • Cllr Mas Patel: Building Communities – Mental Health Integration 
  • Cllr Salim Patel: Building Communities – Early Years Integration 
  • Cllr Terry Paul: Skills and Adult Learning
  • Cllr Tahmina Rahman: New Media

Community Lead Councillors

  • Cllr Hanif Abdulmuhit: Green Street and Plaistow 
  • Cllr Ayesha Chowdhury: Beckton
  • Cllr Rev. Ann Easter: East Ham
  • Cllr Idris Ibrahim: Custom House and Canning Town 
  • Cllr Patrick Murphy: Royal Docks
  • Cllr Mas Patel: Stratford and West Ham 
  • Cllr Salim Patel: Manor Park
  • Cllr Rachel Tripp: Forest Gate

* Since 2014 Cllr Peppiatt has chosen not to receive a special responsibility allowance