DEAR EDITOR: ‘Are the general public aware of what they pay themselves to “serve us”‘

This week the former Mayor of Havering Linda Trew has written into the Havering Daily’s Dear Editor section.

The Leader of the Council, Damian White and the Conservative Administration are always preaching austerity and the necessity of cut backs to residents. This beggars the question what do they know personally about austerity?

Are the general public aware of what they pay themselves to “serve us”? The basic allowance for a Local Councillor is £10,600 (in Brentwood it is £6,O00).

In addition to this when a Councillor is appointed a Chair position on a committee, usually an Overview and Scrutiny panel, Governance etc., they will be paid from approx. £7,000 to £17,000 on top of the allowance.

This entails four to six meetings a year, the outcomes of which are mostly ambiguous. The Leader pays himself £48,000 and Cabinet Members, £38,000.

These appointments do go to Full Council and voted on but as the Administration have a majority by buying Councillors votes, it’s a no brainer and they win the vote. (The leader of Brentwood takes £16,000)

To the best of my knowledge, all the Councillors who receive special responsibility allowances are Conservatives, not a bad payout for keeping your mouth shut and doing what you are told.

I would lastly like to point out that when there are married couples who have both been given Chair positions, they could have approximately £40,000 going into their household out of residents pockets and for what?

There is no accountability or monitoring as to exactly what Councillors do for example how much case work they have, how many meetings they attend etc. I know from experience that some Councillors go to meetings and do not say a single word!

Austerity? Certainly doesn’t apply to them.

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