Feb 13 2013

Harrow Council Creates Jobs. For Other Councillors.

harrow_council_logoHarrow Council’s Great Leader Idaikkadar has pulled a trick out of the bag over the last few days, and has given a few of his chums an extra “responsibility” as Portfolio Holder Assistants. These new roles don’t come with any decision making powers, but oddly, and despite the lack of responsibility, they do come with what’s known as a ‘Special Responsibility Allowance’ (SRA) of £2,040 per annum.

“Why’s this?” you might ask, bewildered at the extravagance of the Council. “I thought we were supposed to be tightening our belts, not creating jobs for the old boys network?”

The answer isn’t so clear cut as you might think.  According to the document published by the Council:

The Cabinet may also appoint Portfolio Holder Assistants without any decision-making powers to assist Cabinet Members in undertaking the full extent of their roles effectively. A list of proposed Portfolio Holder Assistants was approved by Cabinet on 19 July 2012. Since then, there has been a change in Portfolio Holder (PH) and this report seeks approval for an assistant to be appointed to that PH. In addition, the report allows for the  appointments of assistants to PHs where no such appointments have been made.

Clear as mud, right?

In our mind, it could be for one of two (or more) reasons:

  • Great Leader has realised that his administration is falling to bits. By bulking up those areas of weakness, he can patch things up, by both easing the workload of the current Portfolio Holders (a good thing, no doubt) and by bunging a few of his favourites a couple of grand a year to appear as Assistants. That way, everyone’s happy: a bit of extra cash for a few mates, and a bit of help for those floundering Portfolio Holders.
  • Or, and this is, we stress, entirely hypothetical, it could be the when the vote was going on for the next Leader of the Council a few months back, maybe it’s possible that certain promises were made, in order to win friends. And now that those promises haven’t, perhaps, been kept, moving some of the possible, in this hypothetical scenario, less than happy councillors to Assistants, with a two grand bonus, might go some way to quell any possible unhappiness.

We should point out that a member can only claim one SRA, so if these members do have other responsibilities , they may not qualify for the two grand bonus. A quick look shows that none of them appear to have any other responsibilities…

And who are these lucky winners?

  • Councillor Mrinal Choudhury, as Portfolio Holder Assistant to the Portfolio Holder for Property and Major Contracts, with responsibility for Property and Major Contracts
  • Councillor Bill Phillips, as Portfolio Holder Assistant to the Portfolio Holder for Children, Schools and Families with responsibility for Children, Schools and Families
  • Councillor William Stoodley, as Portfolio Holder Assistant to the Portfolio Holder for Finance with responsibility for Finance

As our chums at Private Eye would say, “trebles all round!”

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  1. Morepowertothepeople

    Am sick of this Council wasting our money ‘in house’, and expecting us service users/taxpayers to keep paying for them! It is time for Harrow Residents to show our disgust at what is going on! Any ideas?

  2. Jeremy Zeid HARROW UKIP

    When I was on the Council I received a “Special Responsibility Allowance” of about £200 p/a before tax and NI. I got this because I was a “Cabinet Assistant” to the Portfolio Holder for Large Projects. It is standard fare on Councils.

    However, when these are given out like sweeties to buy loyalties as seems to be happening here, it is bordering on the corrupt if said “assistants” don’t do any real “assisting” nor bring anything to the table. That is what needs watching, to see if this is just corrupt cronyism.

    And before anyone second guesses me. What did I achieve for the extra money (less tax)? I scuppered a wholly unworkable and unacceptable PFI (Private Finance Initiative) for street lighting, that would have cost Harrow Taxpayers about £150 MILLION over the 25year sspan of the PFI where Haeeow wouldn’t have owned its own streetlights for 25 years, nor had any control over maintenace and othe rcosts, especially the near doubling in wattage.
    The power costs were not included in the figures and would’ve fallen on the taxpayer.
    I wasn’t popular and was accused of “increasing crime” and the usual baloney. The PFI was originally going to be waved through by Labour as a “legacy” once again underwritten by the involuntary taxpayer.
    When they lost the 2006 Council Elections, the game chaged, but my old Party were prepared to carry on with the “legacy”.
    I wasn’t, having worked in the 1970s for CEGB (Central Electricity Generating Board), I could see the hidden and escalating costs.
    I submitted a report to Cabinet which fortunately was read and noted, and killed it stone dead.
    A PFI for anything tha tearns no money, such as lighting, schools, hospitals, is a massive millstone on that organization, often to the extent tha tthe building remains unused because of the cost of servicing the loans and contracts.
    This was another “legacy” of the Blair/Brown Terror that added to the near bankrupting of PCTs, Schools and others, just so that Gordy and Toneee and New labour could have a “legacy” of skoolz’n’ospitalzz while everyone else picked up the tab. How little things change, the same mistakes being made by the wallies currently bankrupting Harrow again while blaming everyone else for the whole balls-up. But it’s the cuts” AAAAAAWWWWWWWKKKKKK!! Polly wanna cracker, pieces of eight (less tax and PFI costs).

  3. Jeremy Zeid HARROW UKIP

    Sorry, I meant about £2000 p/a SRA less tax. That’s the problem with a) posting at 3am and b) typing ito a small box as you can’t see stuff further back. What a plonquer!!

  4. Jeremy Zeid HARROW UKIP

    In answer to “Morepowertothepeople”, YES there is something residents can do. VOTE ME IN for the West Harrow by-election and start making a long-needed CHANGE. It will absolutely shock the main parties. I may be in opposition, but I won’t half make a fuss, and I will tell people the TRUTH.

    If people still keep voting for the same old, same old, THAT is what they will get and they really cannot complain.

    I may have once belonged to the Conservatives, but as others will know, I am not like others. I am my own man, and my sole concern is that the Council serves residents, who have to pay for it, not the other way around.

  5. MouthAlmighty

    This has the familiar stench of corruption and we need to eradicate this as soon as possible. We have to use our votes wisely at the next election and bring in honourable, dedicated Council members ( if any such people exist in politics today). I have been a life long labour supporter but for the first time ever, I am considering a change in my political allegiance.

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