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Bonkers Blog May 2013

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11 May - Pay and policies

The Taxpayers’ Alliance has updated its Town Hall Rich List. I’m not sure how accurate it is, not very I suspect. It doesn’t help comparisons that the format is different from last year.

In 2011 the TPA reported that 16 Bexley council officers were on more than £100,000 a year. Last year only eight were listed and yesterday they reported the number has decreased from nine to seven.
I suspect the discrepancy may have arisen over Deborah Absalom and Angela Hogan who left council employment two years ago but with, in one case, a golden goodbye in the following financial year.
The TPA didn’t give Angela Hogan a mention by name in either 2012 or 2011 but the precise numbers don’t really matter, the fact is they are all far too high.

UKIP TweetThe local branch of UKIP has announced that its policy is to cap council pay at £100,000. They are in good company, so is Eric Pickles’, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. 2,219 Bexley residents signed a petition to that effect in 2011, most of them in council leader Teresa O’Neill’s ward, but she doesn’t agree. She had the petition thrown out claiming that the salaries quoted were exaggerated. In fact the reverse was true.

Labour are no better, they refused to back the petition and their leader said that Will Tuckley should be paid even more, the same as the Head of the Civil Service. What? The man who doesn't even administer our dustbin collections (it’s contracted out, like most Bexley services are) should be paid the same as the man who stands over everyone in the Ministry of Defence, the Departments of Transport, Health and Environment etc. Total madness from all Bexley’s politicians. (†)

UKIP TweetUKIP, and any Independent candidates, will have an uphill struggle to overcome the apathy of Bexley’s electorate and they are going to have to up their game somewhat too. Maybe it is just me but I expect to learn what UKIP is thinking when following their Twittering. Appearing to bait the other two parties could be mistaken for student politics.

All I know about Bexley UKIP so far is that they are against the Gallions Reach bridge and against silly pay levels. What about their take on revenue driven parking enforcement, a short free parking period on our dying high streets, employing care agencies that flout the minimum wage regulations or transparency and honesty on the council chamber? During the next 12 months I’d like to know the answers.

Town Hall Rich List 2011.
Town Hall Rich List 2012.
Town Hall Rich List 2013.

† The Labour member for Belvedere, Seán Newman, spoke in favour of considering the petition.



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