May 23 2013 Latest news:
Max Walters, Reporter
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Town hall deny method used to pay Christine Gilbert is a tax avoidance scheme
Brent’s most senior member of staff is being paid hundreds of thousands of pounds per year through a private company.
Christine Gilbert, who is currently the council’s interim chief executive, is being paid a salary equivalent of £200,000 per year according to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request.
Ms Gilbert took over the post in September last year following a falling out between long standing chief executive Gareth Daniel and the leader of the council Cllr Muhammed Butt.
The figure, which was uncovered by trade magazine Local Government Chronicle, is slightly less than the £203,342 paid to Mr Daniel who held the post for 14 years.
The FoI also revealed she was paid via a company called Christine Gilbert Associates Ltd and the figure was £100,000 for a six month period.
However, a spokesman for Brent Council insisted the use of a private company was not a “mechanism for avoiding tax”.
He added: “Brent Council appointed the services of an interim chief executive pending the recruitment process for a permanent member of staff.
“The council is satisfied that the interim arrangement provides value for money and does not incur the council additional cost to appointing a substantive postholder.
“This is not a mechanism for avoiding tax which is a matter for the individual interim.”
He added that they intended to appoint a permanent chief executive later in the year.
Ms Gilbert, the former boss at Ofsted, which inspects the standards of schools, is also married to former Harrow East MP Tony McNulty (Lab) who was criticised during the expenses scandal.
The former employment minister had allegedly been claiming up to £14,000 a year in parliamentary expenses to help with the running costs of his designated second home in Harrow, in which his parents live, despite sharing a house with Ms Gilbert.