Councillors' Expenses

At the March Council meeting Conservative Group Leader Councillor Spencer Drury asked for a full list of claims by Councillors for expenses to be made public for each of the last three financial years. Two months later, given the situation so many MPs now find themselves in, Greenwich Conservatives have chosen to voluntarily publish the individual expenses claims for the Greenwich Council Conservative Group.  The figures show the claims by the three political parties on the Council (Labour, Lib-Dem and Conservative) and give a breakdown of all claims by Conservative Councillors published in March, for the previous three municipal years.

  Expenses claimed by political party   Party                           2005/06                     2006/07                          2007/08 Conservative Group            £0                           £0                          £7.85 Labour Group          £2,977.86                    £272.94                    £4,150.99 Lib-Dem Group                  £0                      £14.17                      £146.23     The figures for the Conservatives Councillors are:   Councillor      2005/06         2006/07         2007/08 A Brinkhurst      N/A                 £0                   £0 A Jennings        N/A                 £0                   £0 A Wilson           N/A                 £0                   £0 C Taylor           £0                   £0               £7.85* D Poston          £0                   £0                   £0 E Glover           £0                   £0                   £0 E Truss             N/A                 £0                   £0 G Brighty           N/A                 £0                   £0 G Coombes        N/A                 £0                   £0 J Hills                £0                  £0                   £0 N Fletcher         £0                   £0                   £0 P King               £0                   £0                   £0 S Drury             £0                   £0                   £0   ("N/A" means that the person was not a Councillor for 2005/06) (*Cllr Taylor has disputed the £7.85 claim with the Council and states that this has been wrongly allocated to him. However, this amount was included in the Council's published fugures, so has been included for the sake of accuracy.)    Cllr Drury asked the question when Councillors were asked to vote on a salary increase at the March meeting. Conservatives have previously voted against raising Councillors allowances, arguing that the 29% rise since 2005/06 was excessive. Labour Councillors have previously voted through these increases, but at the March Council meeting this year they at last saw reason and joined with the Conservatives to freeze Councillors allowances for the coming municipal year.   Kidbrooke with Hornfair Councillor, Graeme Coombes, who seconded the proposal to freeze allowances, said:   “I believe that freezing Councillors’ allowances was absolutely the right thing to do, particularly considering the difficult economic situation so many Greenwich residents find themselves in as a result of Labour’s mismanagement of our economy. I am pleased that Labour Councillors have at last seen the light, after years of voting themselves increases in their own salaries.”    The following month Greenwich Conservatives also proposed a reduction in Council Tax, which would also have helped many Greenwich residents, and would not have affected frontline services. However, Labour voted it down, in favour of their own excessive spending plans, claiming residents are perfectly happy with the level of Council Tax they are being asked to pay.   (Should any member of the public wish to see the full figures they are available from the Council as Members’ Questions for March 2009)