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Bonkers Blog September 2011

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27 September - High (f)lyer

Councillor Katie PerriorThe guys who plan to distribute their Craske leaflet to all the homes in his ward think it would be a good idea to put something about councillor Katie Perrior on the back of it. They asked me if I could draft out something short and pithy but I am not convinced it is a good idea; after all, if you were forced to look at a picture of Craske on one side and Katie on the other which would you be more likely to look at? I’d be inclined not to dilute the message but since my arm is being twisted I offer this…

Councillor Katie Perrior is a successful business woman; she went from university straight into a well paid city trading job where annual bonuses are worth more than my house. Ten years ago she jumped ship to work for the Conservative’s Shadow Cabinet. From there she went into TV Production working on a number of well known programmes such as ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’.

Other TV jobs were in ITN where she soon rose to be Head of Press for Channel 4 News and Media Advisor to the Conservative Shadow Cabinet. Not content with that she set up her own company iNHouse PR. The company was an instant success being chosen by Boris Johnson to run his mayoral election campaign.

In addition to being founder and director of a top PR company Katie retains her links with TV where she appears as political pundit and newspaper reviewer for Sky. In her spare time she helps out in other London boroughs. Obviously a talented lady who has made a success of her life; so why does she find it necessary to go on public record saying…

• I could not be a councillor if I didn’t get something [a £22,615 allowance] as I would be out of pocket by thousands of pounds a year for travel, childcare, telephone costs, admin support etc.
• As a mother who works part-time and juggles family life with 20 plus hours a week of council work…
• Bexley’s residents are not rich and sadly nor am I.
• I am best placed to know exactly what residents of the borough are going through [financially].
• Councils must find a way around the law.

I expect you can guess what is coming next…

Councillors can claim for travel, childcare and everything else she lists as a cost. There is a whole department devoted to councillor support. Katie doesn’t work part-time, she runs her own business and appears on TV. It’s not most people’s idea of a part-time job. Four hours a day on top of that for council work? Are there really that number of hours in a day? And how long a gap is there between council meetings? (Sixteen weeks actually.)

Does anyone believe that with a successful career in business, politics, TV and lecturing our Katie is struggling along like the average Bexley mum on the average wage or less? She would like you to think so to excuse her extra £22k. for saying very little at council meetings.

What is it about Bexley’s Conservative councillors that makes them want to lie all the time?

Incidentally, Craske is so popular in the borough that volunteers have come forward to help distribute the leaflets and the council’s refusal to entertain the petition has boosted the number of signatures wonderfully. 2,000 is now a real possibility by the time of the next council meeting.


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