Hackney councillors condemn ‘invidious’ practice of allowances voting
- Credit: If you have not been credited to
Hackney councillors have called on the government to alter arrangements which see them vote on their own allowances.
Unlike MPs, whose salaries are set by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, councillors vote on reports and recommendations from an independent remuneration panel responsible for reviewing members’ allowances.
In Hackney’s case, this is provided by London Councils and chaired by former civil servant Sir Rodney Brooke.
READ MORE: Hackney Council’s Tory chief set for £8,000 allowance increase as leader of sole oppositionCouncillors voted to accept an increase of allowances by 2.75 per cent in line with the national pay settlement for local government officers, but Conservative councillors Harvey Odze and Simche Steinberger abstained from voting.
Cllr Odze said: “I find it invidious that the government forces us to vote on our own allowances. It should be nothing to do with the council. It should be totally independent and agreed by an outside body, not by the council.
“The only input the council should have is if it is feasible within the budget. I think we should make representations to the government accordingly.”
You may also want to watch:
He also described excluding councillors from the local government pension scheme as a “stupid decision”.
Each Hackney councillor is currently entitled to a basic allowance of just over £11,000/yr, designed to give elected representatives payments in recognition of committing to attending council meetings and to meet with officers and constituents.
- 1 Hackney road closures 'will cost lives', says volunteer ambulance service
- 2 Jailed: 'Dangerous' Hackney predator found with 1,600 indecent child images
- 3 Joint Covid patrols launched to ensure lockdown rules are followed
- 4 Police appeal for help to trace wanted Dalston man
- 5 Covid-safe shared workspaces in Hackney on flexibility without formalities
- 6 'Common sense' prevails as Stamford Hill testing centre moved out of estate
- 7 Stoke Newington School looks to raise £60K for student laptops
- 8 Woman arrested over London Fields shooting that left innocent bystander paralysed
- 9 Police divers search for man who fell from boat into freezing River Lea
- 10 Homerton High Street attack: Man in his 50s stabbed in the back
It also covers costs, such as phone bills, with extra allowances for special responsibilities.
The chair of the planning committee, for example, receives just under £18,000/yr as a special responsibility allowance (SRA), with members of the mayor’s cabinet receiving £36,645/yr and the two deputy mayors receiving £43,475/yr SRA.
The only member of the council who receives neither a basic allowance or SRA is Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville, who receives an annual allowance of £85,375/yr. The full budget for the members allowance scheme for 2020/21 with the uplift included is £1.387m.
Mayor Glanville said at the meeting: “I echo Cllr Odze. I don’t think any of us find it easy looking at this and voting on our own allowances.”