Labour council leader’s £14,000 boost in allowances

cowanCllr Stephen Cowan, the Labour leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, is celebrating after a £14,000 boost in his Council Taxpayer funded allowances.

He is already paid £8,940 as a basic allowance plus another £32,186.70 “Special Responsibility Allowance” for being council leader. So that’s £41,126.70p. Not bad for a job that he treats very much as part time.

Now he’s taken another £14,000 for being a board member of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation. It meets about ten times a year – and take about an hour and half each. So around a £1,000 an hour. A nice little earner that brings the total to £55,126.70p. Kerr-ching!

The Mayor of London’s staff and London Assembly members who serve on the board are not claiming any extra money. But Cllr Cowan has decided he’s worth it. The Council had strongly opposed the setting up of the Board on the grounds it was “anti localism”. It’s creation would mean “handing decision making over to unelected representatives”. Only having one council representative would be a complete waste of time. I wonder what prompted Cllr Cowan to overcome his objections to participating rather than maintaining a principled boycott….

Of course the regeneration scheme is important. It will provide 24,000 new homes and 55,000 new jobs alongside the HS2 and Crossrail Station. The trouble is the plan is for the new homes to be very ugly – part of some ego trip for “starchitect” Sir Terry Farrell.

If Cllr Cowan was to ensure attractive traditional housing with street patterns instead of soulless tower blocks then I wouldn’t mind him pocketing the extra cash. But the notion that he will achieve anything in this regard – or even bother to try – is risible. Far more likely to make a difference would be the election of Zac Goldsmith as the Mayor of London in May.

As an opposition councillor Cllr Cowan regularly denounced dealing with property developers and was furious the Conservative Council sent representatives to the MIPIM conference in Cannes. Yet when the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation decided to take part in the MIPIM gathering in Cannes next March there was not a squeak of protest from him.

Last year when MIPIM held an event at Olympia, Cllr Cowan was schmoozing with property developers inside when the Labour MP Andrew Slaughter was outside denouncing the gathering.

Will Cllr Cowan turn up at Cannes? He could become a regular. The councillor for Hammersmith Broadway and the French Riviera




One thought on “Labour council leader’s £14,000 boost in allowances

  1. I almost feel sorry for Cllr Cowan. He is clearly determined to live a comfortable bourgeois existence in his £1.5mio house in one of Fulham’s leafier conservation areas, whilst trousering every allowance going. This awkward triangulation of behaviour and beliefs was positively encouraged under Blair, tolerated under Miliband E. But the newly emergent Stalinist-Spartist Labour Party seems to have different outlook on life entirely.

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