Greenwich Council's Labour Leader Antony Okereke is facing calls to scrap his plan to hire a taxpayer-funded Special Adviser, at this week's Council meeting at the Town Hall.
Conservative councillors are putting to the vote a motion requesting that the Labour administration abandons its plan to bring forward proposals for a new 'political assistant' system, which the Labour Leader has said he needs to help him with "policy and communications" and to support the Labour Party's political campaigning against the Government.
Councillor Matt Hartley, Leader of the Conservative Opposition on Greenwich Council, said: "Councillor Okereke is the third Labour Leader I've opposed at the Town Hall but he's the only one who seems to think he needs some kind of Special Adviser - and worse, he is expecting local taxpayers to pay for it.
"He has 50 other Labour councillors he can drawn on for support with policy and communications, and he's failed to make any coherent case for why the role is needed other than admitting that he will use the role to support political campaigning against the Government.
"With cost of living pressures continuing and RBG facing significant challenges as an organisation - including getting its Rethinking Services transformation programme back on track - Labour needs to drop this Special Adviser plan and get on with the job they were elected to do.
"I'd urge all Labour councillors - many of whom are deeply unhappy about the lack of political judgment this proposal shows - to put pressure on the Leader of the Council to think again."
Councillors will vote on the Opposition motion to abandon plans to introduce the taxpayer-funded political assistant role at the Town Hall on Wednesday night. The motion reads:
Motion - Opposing the creation of taxpayer-funded Political Assistant role
Proposed by: Cllr Matt Hartley, Seconded by: Cllr Pat Greenwell
This Council requests that the administration does NOT bring forward proposals to create 'Political Assistant' roles in the Council to support with policy, communications and other matters, on the basis that this would:
- Increase the cost of local politics to the Greenwich council taxpayer
- Replicate capacity and work that can instead be carried out by elected councillors, who already receive allowances
- Demonstrate the wrong priorities, given the challenges the Council faces