Labour Lambeth Vote Themselves A Payrise

By Londonist Last edited 152 months ago
Labour Lambeth Vote Themselves A Payrise

National politics does spin, but that's apparently a bit sophisticated for Lambeth - we seem to just do mud-slinging.

The opening post-election salvo comes in the form of a leak to the South London Press regarding an alleged "pay scandal plot" by the newly elected Labour administration (the election itself included a shameful campaign against now ex-councillor Anglin for having an account on and pretty much every party claiming all the others were going to shut the borough's swimming pools).

The subject of the leak itself is worthy of reporting – that, having retrieved control of the council from a Liberal / Conservative coalition Labour councillors are minded to vote themselves an apparently monster pay rise after 4 years of frozen pay. But the bombasticity surrounding the leak doesn't seem to match with the available details, and the timing probably has much to do with making an early land grab for the publics attitudes to the new administration than to generate debate.

According to the outgoing leader Councillor Peter Truesdale the new administration are "stuffing their pockets" and giving themselves a "128% increase". The problem is that this suggests that every Labour councillor in Lambeth will be swanning off to the south of France on a huge bonus and ignores the important issue, at all levels of politics, about how much public servants should earn in relation to the earnings of those they represent.

As far as we can tell the leak relates only to the half a dozen councillors who fill the executive posts at the council (i.e. the ones who are actually in responsible for departments), who may be up for a pay rise to a new maximum of £30,000. But it is only a proposal, probably an opening bid, and will be the subject of a public vote some time in May. So they're probably not looking at property in Provence just yet.

We really hope that this doesn't represent a signpost for the next four years of local government in Lambeth. The Tories and Liberal Democrats are faced with a choice as to how they deal with a Labour council in Lambeth. Hopefully this isn't it and they and Labour will focus on real local issues over inter-party handbags.

Last Updated 23 May 2006