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Posted by: John Brace | 10th May 2017

Which Liverpool City Council councillors recommended themselves a 1% pay rise?

Which Liverpool City Council councillors recommended themselves a 1% pay rise?

                          

Constitutional Issues Committee (Liverpool City Council) 9th May 2017 left Chris Walsh right Cllr Alan Dean

Constitutional Issues Committee (Liverpool City Council) 9th May 2017 left Chris Walsh right Cllr Alan Dean



 

Constitutional Issues Committee (Liverpool City Council) 9th May 2017 Agenda Item 9 Scheme of Member Allowances 2017/18 This item starts at 17:54 in the video above.

Now the local elections are over (although thanks to the government nationally there’s also a general election), I was present yesterday afternoon for a public meeting of Liverpool City Council’s Constitutional Issues Committee.

During the election campaigns for councillors and Metro Mayor, I’m sure many people told political parties and politicians of the “big issues” that people wanted sorted out.

So councillors have listened, and in one of the first recommendations after the local elections have recommended to award themselves a pay rise.

Interestingly based on comments made by those at the meeting at Liverpool City Council at least one councillor stated she was deterred from claiming expenses because they’re worried the Liverpool Echo would criticise them for doing so.

Wirral Council councillors on the other hand, have their spokesperson Cllr Adrian Jones to state it’s not reasonable for the press and public to know what councillors claiming in expenses and these are kept a secret on the Wirral.

Of course the last Labour government made it a law that all expenses claimed by councillors had to be open to public inspection.

Moving swiftly back to Liverpool City Council councillors though. The report from the Independent Panel was a late report dated the day before the meeting, so Chris Walsh was busy handing out copies to councillors in the minutes before the meeting started.

The report encourages councillors to claim legitimate expenses, although a number of councillors pointed out that Merseytravel already provide them with free travel on public transport. Taxis had been mentioned earlier in the meeting, but in the context of criticism about Wirral registered taxis coming over to Liverpool.

So what are Liverpool’s politicians paid at the moment? Well the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson is paid a base amount of £79,500, councillors each receive a base amount of £10,077.

Councillors also receive IT equipment (along with access to Council systems), car park passes, “Group Office Member support” (which means staff), printing, stationery, postage costs and surgery costs (up to a maximum of £330 a year).

There is a childcare allowance (only for children up to thirteen) and dependant carer’s allowance. If councillors are representing Liverpool City Council on outside bodies they’re not allowed to “double claim” from that body and Liverpool City Council.

Travel and subsistence claims can also be made, including international travel. There are a range of special responsibility allowances (which are in addition to the base amount) ranging from Deputy Mayor (£28,620) to Whip of Main Opposition Group (if that group has over 20% of the councillors) of £4,209.

Councillors on outside bodies, just to give one example Cllr Dave Hanratty as Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority receives an extra ~£27k.

So back to what councillors said at the public meeting.

Firstly, the Labour Chair Cllr Alan Dean said Liverpool City councillors should be paid more because of what other councillors on Merseyside are paid.

Cllr Richard Kemp (Leader of the Liberal Democrat councillors on Liverpool City Council) said they would not oppose the pay rise.

On the subject of expenses, a councillor then said that she did not want to be mocked on the front page of the Liverpool Echo for claiming expenses.

Councillor Richard Kemp stated that he couldn’t afford the £140-£150 train fare when he went to London so claimed it on expenses, but that Liverpool City Council paid at a discounted rate due to his senior citizens card.

The Chair Cllr Alan Dean stated that politicians shouldn’t be carrying out their functions at a financial loss or gain. He referred to his public transport pass that Merseytravel issue him with. Cllr Richard Kemp confirmed he has a Merseytravel pass too.

The recommendation for a pay rise will be formally agreed at a future public meeting of all 90 Liverpool City Council councillors and the elected Mayor at Liverpool Town Hall.

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Responses

  1. As the amounts other Merseyside councillors are paid was given in justification by one Liverpool City Council councillor for a pay rise I thought I’d better point out the following.

    The base amount for a Liverpool City Council councillor is at the moment £10,077, whereas the base amount for a Wirral Council councillor is £8,712.45.

    I’m not sure what the base amounts are for councillors in other areas of Merseyside and Halton though.

  2. John, I bet Wirral councillors will be chomping at the bit to get themselves a rise
    lining up at the trough at ratepayers expense.

    • It looks like Liverpool City Council review these sorts of matters annually, the cycle for reviewing the allowances and expenses at Wirral Council appears to be longer though.

      However it’s up to politicians what’s on the agenda.

  3. John, do you have a list of who voted for what?
    Did any councillors vote against the rise?
    Cheers.

    • It’s just a recommendation at this stage to a future meeting of all ninety Liverpool City Council councillors.

      There’s a list of who was at the Constitutional Issues Committee on Liverpool City Council’s website.

      However from memory Cllr Alan Dean (who is the Labour Whip) and Cllr Richard Kemp (Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group) both spoke in favour (therefore supported a rise).

      A number of councillors didn’t speak on that item.

      It was suggested by the Chair (Cllr Alan Dean) that if councillors had concerns they should move an amendment to it when it was recommended to a meeting of all Liverpool City Council councillors.

      Unfortunately there wasn’t a formal vote where they put their hands up if that’s what you’re asking for? That’ll happen at the Council meeting though.

  4. who are the turkeys votig for Christmas? I think its mugs like us!

  5. Here’s a little poser…

    Which Wirral Councillor creamed a 26% rise in his allowance in 2003, while staff got 3%?

    • I know and you know but this isn’t a fair game.

      However in the interests of openness and transparency for me 2015-16 net pay compared to 2016-17 net pay I got a 169% pay rise.

      To some that would seem like an excessive increase, although if an employer had been paying me the 2015-16 net pay it would be unlawfully low.

      But the figures you are probably quoting are gross increases. For many councillors a percentage of that increase would be gobbled up in increased income tax, national insurance etc.

      • John John John

        Wrong wrong wrong I bow to your far superior knowledge of all things wirral but please don’t insult us with words like

        this isn’t a fair game.

        When it come to wirral John the only thing that is fair amongst them is “The Chamber Potty’s” peroxided black roots.

        Ooroo

        James

        • There’s a general election coming up and I’m having to try very hard to be impartial.

          Apologies if it looked like I dodged the question.

  6. So with all the cut backs we have to put up with, loss of services, streets covered in litter, pot holes everywhere, price increased in the bins etc etc!
    But Councillors who should be setting an example are reallly saying suff you!
    Sorry i really don’t understand why people vote for them, but then again most poeple are just sheep anyway.

    • Well I might point out (just in case there is any misunderstanding) that this story is about Liverpool City Council councillors, not Wirral ones.

      The recommendation has been made, but not the final decision yet.

      Self-interest goes a long way in politics!

      Your argument about “setting an example” was referred to by at least one councillor who stated that they hadn’t raised their allowances in nine years, so it’s only fair to raise them this year.


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