Monday 24 February 2020

Discomfort as Brent councillors debate an increase in their own allowances

The debate comes just after the vote on the Local Plan

Last week's Full Council approved a Council Tax rise of 3.99%, numerous cuts and a rise in the councillor's basic allowance of 2% as recommended by the independent allowance review body.

Voting on your own renumeration is always an uncomfortable experience and this was no exception. As you will see in the video Cllrs Abdirazak Abdi, Robert Johnson and Anton Georgiou did not feel justified in taking the increase in the light of the Council Tax rise and many residents' difficult financial position.

Others argued that allowances had been fought for to give everyone, not just the well off, the ability to stand for Council and serve residents.

The livestream video does not show councillors as the vote was taken and it was not a 'recorded vote' when councillors' names are called out by the CEO like a school register and their vote recorded. I cannot hear the for and against vote on the video but think I heard 6 absentions.

There are quite a few barbs in the speeches which are likely to mean little to the public but seem to relate to levels of attendance at council meetings, the suggestion that some councillors are privileged and so can afford not to take the increase and allegations of 'grandstanding.'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Such an illogical reason. If the motivation is to ensure people stand for council from all backgrounds, the rise should take place before the elections - not during the term of existing councillors.

Given that council officers have lost pay in real terms for years, are Brent saying that only those from privileged backgrounds can apply?