Pigs … troughs … snouts … what happens in a cosy council

“Tory councillors on Swale Borough Council have awarded themselves an inflation busting bumper pay deal whilst council employees pay remains capped at 1%.

On average a Tory councillor is now a staggering 15.59% better off than last year whilst the average pay of a UKIP councillor has seen a pay cut of 4.70%. …

We asked the leader of the Council Andrew Bowles whether he cared to offer any justification for the increase to which he said, “Come on, I know it’s election time but 39K divided between 47 councillors is hardly large”. …

You may well ask how this was allowed to happen, surely there are restrictions in place to prevent such an outcome. Well that’s true, but you can always play the promotion game to circumvent the rules and that is exactly what has occurred in this case.

The remuneration of councillors is based on the recommendations of an independent panel, but their recommendations are not mandatory and have been overruled on previous occasions. …

This year in an apparent bid to share the workload, although not the pay, Tory members approved the creation of 7 brand new positions, all of which are for destined for Tory councillors and all of which attract additional pay. …

Out of the current crop of 32 Tory councillors, over half, 18 in fact will now hold special positions attracting additional pay. …

That’s nearly half the Council who need to keep the leader happy for fear losing a paid roll. This destroys independence of thought amongst Councillors, and ensures that residents’ interests will always come second to those of the Conservative Party. This is not democratic, it is not open and transparent governance, and is quite frankly a betrayal of the people who put their faith in this system.”

And if you think this year’s pay awards are just a one-off, I’m sorry to disappoint because over the last five years the basic allowances have risen by 50% and the Special Responsibility Allowances by an eye-watering 66%. ”


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