Last night the newly re-elected Labour administration of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets voted for increases in their Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA) at the council AGM held at the Town Hall 38 in favour, 6 against, no abstentions.
Increased allowances for Labour council approved
There were 44 councillors present, all of whom voted for the motion to approve the SRA increases apart from opposition councillors Cllr. Rabina Khan (Peoples Alliance of Tower Hamlets, Shadwell), Cllr. Peter Golds (Conservative, Island Gardens) and Cllr. Andrew Woods (Conservative, Canary Wharf) who voted against and three Labour councillors.
|Statutory Deputy Mayor||£16,000||£30,000|
|Leader of the Majority Group on the Council||£11,300||£11,300|
|Leader of the largest Opposition Group||£11,300|
|Leader of the largest Opposition Group (subject to||£8,000||£11,300|
|having at least 10% of the Council)|
|Leader of the largest Opposition Group||£0||£5,000|
|(if the Group has fewer than 10% of the Council)|
|Leader of any Group||£5,000||£5,000|
|(subject to having at least 10% of the Council)|
|Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee||£11,000||£11,000|
|Chair of Scrutiny Sub-Committee||£8,000||£8,000|
|(Health, Housing or Grants)|
|Lead Member for Scrutiny||£8,000||£8,000|
|Chair of Development Committee||£11,000||£11,000|
|Chair of Strategic Development Committee||£11,000||£11,000|
|Chair of Licensing Committee||£6,000||£6,000|
|Chair of General Purposes Committee||£8,000||£8,000|
|Chair of Audit Committee||£6,000||£6,000|
|Chair of Pensions Committee||£6,000||£6,000|
|Speaker of Council||£10,000||£10,000|
|Deputy Speaker of Council||£5,000||£5,000|
|Chief Whip (Whip of the Majority Group)||£0||£11,000|
Data source: SCHEDULE 1 Special Responsibility Allowance [PDF]
Harsh reality of Tower Hamlets
Cllr. Rabina Khan (People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets, Shadwell) grounded the newly elected representatives in the reality of Tower Hamlets before the allowances were voted on by talking about an incident in Shadwell the day before when a man brandishing a knife allegedly ran through Watney market chasing two young boys.
Cllr. Khan reminded Council that while the very first meeting of the new administration was discussing increases in SRA allowances to ‘professionalise’ councillor roles there was no mention of professionalising the pay increases of the front-line council staff such as social workers who have to deal with such traumatic incidents.
SRA levels still lower than other councils – Biggs
Mayor John Biggs has emphasised that a benchmarking exercise of the Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA) compared to other boroughs shows that at £14,000 Tower Hamlets currently has a significantly lower Special Responsibility Allowances for Cabinet Members than other councils.
In similar London authorities the SRA for Cabinet members is set at:
- Hackney £ 34,279.82
- Newham £34,000 (proposed for agreement on 24th May)
- Southwark £35,033
- Lambeth £28,518
- Islington £29,712
- Camden £ 16,275
- Lewisham £ £15,298
Mayor Biggs also points out that these allowances are substantially lower than the recommendations of the 2018 Independent Remuneration Panel which recommended an SRA of £36,917 to £43,460 for Cabinet members and £36,917 to £43,460 (deputy leader of the council) the closest equivalent to Deputy Mayor.