Brent councillors receive �1,194 every time they chair a community forum
Outrage over �4,777 allowance to host four meeetings a year
Councillors who chair the borough’s quarterly area consultative forums get an allowance of �4,777 – that’s nearly �1,200 per meeting.
Each year there are four meetings in five areas around the borough where residents can have a say about the issues which matter to them.
But campaigners say councillors should have these allowances cut at a time when the council is being forced to make �100 million in savings over four years which means closing libraries, day care centres for the disabled and axing jobs.
Gaynor Lloyd, a library campaigner who obtained the figures through a Freedom of Information request, said: “We are always being told these are unprecedented times which need drastic cuts.
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“The members’ basic allowance may be less than the London average but when constituents are suffering slashes in their desperately needed services, I can’t see there is any justifying some of those ‘extra’ earnings.”
Councillors’ basic allowance is �7,974 but an Executive member getsan extra �14,969 on top while the chair of the planning committee gets an extra �13,208.
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Cllr Ann John OBE,leader of Brent Council, gets a total allowance of �43,196.
Sarah Cox, spokeswoman for anti-cuts campaign group Brent Fightback, said: “It has to be justified and if the council does justify it then it needs to be challenged.
“It seems a bit excessive. The allowance an area consultative forum chair gets for one meeting is the same as some people earn in a month.”
But Cllr John said the area consultative forum chairpersons are important positions. She said: “Brent’s allowances scheme is less than other London boroughs. The chairpersons do not just chair four meetings.
“There is a lot of preparation work and liaising with officers and steering groups with residents.
“It is a very important position and a key way of speaking to residents.”
The five chairs of the borough’s Area Consulatitve Forums are:
Cllr James Denselow – Kilburn and Kensal
Cllr Krupesh Hirani – Willesden
Cllr Wilhelmina Mitchell-Murray – Wembley
Cllr Kanapathipillai Naheerathan – Kingsbury and Kenton
Cllr Bobby Thomas - Harlesden