The row over Liverpool council leader Joe Anderson's pay
There is unholy row going on after today's revelation that Liverpool council leader Joe Anderson is to be paid double the wage of his predecessor to reflect he is doing the job full time.
Emails have been flying around behind the scenes.
Below I copy a press release from Libearl Democrat leader Warren Bradley, in response to the council's press release, which I've copied below:
PRESS RELEASE FROM LIVERPOOL LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
For immediate release ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ Tuesday 29 June
Councillor Warren Bradley, the former Leader of Liverpool City Council, now the Leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition has hit out at the doubling of the Leaders allowance at Liverpool City Council.
He said, "Is there a suggestion that I didn't work full-time?????"
"This is an absolute disgrace, what consultation took place, who was interviewed, at a time when the Council staff have to take a pay freeze, unaccountable politicians double their salary - that's the headline."
"Show me where it says the previous Leaders role was based upon a 2.5 day a week role, it doesn't, show me where in the 2007 Act it says the role of the Leader is different to the one I carried out, it doesn't."
"This is a deceitful and poor way to implement such a massive hike in allowance, why wasn't I afforded a comment in the piece or availed with the opportunity to be interviewed by the so called independent panel - this is a sham."
The explanation into where the resource to pay for this is to come from is astounding; the pay rise the Councillors didn't take, that had been taken as a saving in the budget, and the savings from the allowance paid to assistants to the Cabinet members, which had already been allocated to the additional select committee Chairs that Labour introduced at the annual meeting - 5 @ ÃÂ£9600; the Council were told by the Treasurer 'double counting' isn't allowed; a little like the Labour Government and the country's economy, Labour locally can do anything they want?
"A taste of things to come, the Council press office are now being bullied by this oppressive regime to issue releases full of untruths, welcome back to the 1980's!!!!!!!!"
Militants is alive and kicking in Liverpool, with Cllr Anderson at the helm.
Press release from Liverpool City Council's Newscentre
For immediate release Tuesday 29 June 2010
Liverpool to have full-time leader
AN INDEPENDENT panel is recommending that the position of Leader of Liverpool City Council is officially made full-time.
Previously the post has been classed as a part time role, with the allowance based on a 2.5 day week.
A review - carried out by the Independent Panel on Members' Allowances - proposes it becomes a five day a week position and the current special responsibility allowance is raised from ÃÂ£21,049 to ÃÂ£42,100 to reflect the increased responsibilities and the amount of work involved.
The Panel reached the decision after considering:
ÃÂ· The allowances for Leaders in other similar cities including Manchester, Birmingham Leeds and Nottingham
ÃÂ· New governance arrangements under the Local Government Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, adopted in Liverpool in December 2009 and effective from May 2010, which mean the Leader is elected for a fixed term of four years
ÃÂ· The other responsibilities of the Leader, including chairing the City Region Cabinet and taking the lead on housing and business enterprise at the city council
The amount spent on allowances overall will be about the same in 2010/11 as in 2009/10.
A report to be considered by the next meeting of the city council, the Panel states that the change is "essential to recognise the weight of responsibility and the very long hours that the position by definition demands".
Council leader Joe Anderson said: "It is a great privilege to lead the city, and the role brings with it a huge amount of responsibility which requires total dedication and commitment.
"I always said I would be a full time leader, and I am pleased that the panel are of the same view and are making this recommendation.
"It enables me to focus completely on dealing with the numerous complex challenges that we are facing.
"Whether it's the budget, improving housing, bringing investment into the city or addressing major health issues, this is a full time job that demands a full time leader.
"Anything less is simply not good enough for the people of Liverpool.
"Although my allowance will increase, I will not be any better off financially than I was as Leader of the Opposition because I have given up my previous full time job."
The recommendation will be considered by the next full meeting of the city council on July 21.
If approved, the allowance will be backdated to the annual meeting on May 25.