More than 2,000 Brent Council staff to receive Covid bonuses
Adam Shaw LDRS reporter
- Credit: Nathalie Raffray
Brent Council staff below senior management level are set to receive £500 bonuses for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
Just over 2,000 employees will receive payment, pro rata for those who work part time.
Council leader Muhammed Butt (Lab) said the decision to hand out bonuses to staff was a token of thanks for their ongoing work in “the worst pandemic in 100 years”.
He added it would go some way to compensate a lack of reward from the government and suggested this responsibility had been “forced” on local authorities.
Former Liberal Democrat council leader Paul Lorber said the bonuses should not form part of the base budget for 2020/21-2022/23, which includes a proposed 4.99 per cent tax hike for next year and millions of pounds of cuts.
You may also want to watch:
He told a meeting of Brent's cabinet last Monday (February 8) that he had no issue with awarding the bonuses, but suggested they should be taken from the council’s reserves.
“It is the responsibility of the council to ensure the interests of local residents are protected as much as possible and, in connection with the budget, to ensure they are not paying twice for the same things,” he told a Brent Council cabinet meeting on Monday (February 8).
- 1 Fury as Brent's planning committees approves 'another high-rise' hotel in Wembley
- 2 Residents anger as fourth gambling casino approved in Willesden street
- 3 Brent gang members convicted of shooting a man in Enfield
- 4 Brent MP order out of Commons after accusing Prime Minister of lying 'over and over again'
- 5 Petition against LTNs in Cricklewood exceeds 1,000 signatures
- 6 Wembley: Fan robbed of watch after Euro 2020 final
- 7 Tokyo Olympics: Brondesbury Park pupils wish swimmer Tom Dean luck
- 8 Brent motorists hit with 2,633 blue badge penalty notices in 2020
- 9 Men from Canning Town and Leytonstone charged with theft from Wembley Stadium
- 10 Traffic disruptions in Brent from July 26 to August 1
“There are a number of one-off expenditures which should be paid for out of the reserves. You as a council have decided to pay employees a bonus of £500 – that is fine, that’s your decision.
“But you shouldn’t be asking residents to pay for this out of the base for this year. It’s a one-off expenditure and that’s what some of the reserves are for.”
Mr Lorber added that the decision to cover the increase in the number of people being paid the London Living Wage (LLW) under its contracts through the base budget was also unfair on taxpayers.
Cllr Margaret McLennan, who is lead member for resources at Brent Council, said the administration must be wary not to be “too reliant” on reserves.
She said they are important to ensure residents are protected in emergency situations relating to finances and allow the council to support the borough’s infrastructure.