This week sees the annual Council meeting in Hammersmith and Fulham.
Among the items on the agenda will be Labour seeking approval for £185,000 annual salary to the chief executive Nigel Pallace.
In their election manifesto last year Labour denounced the pay of senior bureaucrats as “exorbitant”. They have pushed it up. The previous arrangement meant the cost of the chief executive was split with Kensington and Chelsea as it was a shared post.
There has also been an increase in spending on “Special Responsibility Allowances” to Labour councillors. Under the Conservatives there were eight Cabinet Members (including the Chief Whip). Labour complained this was too many and promised that they would reduce it to seven. Instead they increased it to nine.
Now they are increasing it to ten. This is an important opportunity for the Council leader to dispense patronage at the Council Taxpayer’s expense. The money paid out to each Cabinet Member and their Chief Whip is £21, 454.20 a time. That is on top of the “basic allowance” of £8,940.
This year’s lucky winner is Cllr Ben Coleman. He is being rewarded for setting up endless “task forces” – a displacement activity from taking action to improve our borough.
This is horrendous.