Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Lewes District Tories paid to do nothing.

Lewes District Tories run the only council in Sussex to pay their own members for a cabinet role without portfolio. Actually, there are three of them.

Until May 2011, Lewes District Council had a cabinet with nine members, six from the majority group (Liberal Democrats) and three from the minority group (Conservatives). Apart from Hastings, Lewes was the only local authority in Sussex to have a mixed cabinet. When the Tories won control, they decided that the cabinet would be all Tory.

It's a bit hard to keep up with their reshuffles since then, but now they have a cabinet with nine members. Three of those members have no portfolio, but receive (or are entitled to receive) a full "special responsibility allowance" despite having no special responsibility. They do, of course, attend cabinet meetings, but there's already a much lower special responsibility allowance for members of committees that meet frequently.

I decided to take a look at what the other local authorities (District, Borough, City and Council) in Sussex do. I didn't include town and parish councils, since their members receive far lower allowances.

Hastings is the only one with a cabinet that includes opposition members. They have six Labour members, and four Tories. Five of the Labour members have a portfolio, and the sixth does not receive a special responsibility allowance. The four Tories have no portfolio, and receive an allowance of about half that of the other members.

All of the rest have cabinets of a leader, and five, six, or seven, other members members (nine in the case of Brighton and Hove), and every one of those members has a portfolio of responsibilities.

So, it seems that only the Lewes District Tories think it necessary to award a "Special Responsibility Allowance" to one (well, three actually) of their own members without a special responsibility.

Brighton and Hove - all ten cabinet members are Green party members, and have a portfolio.

East Sussex County Council - all eight cabinet members are Conservatives, and each has a portfolio.
Eastbourne - all six cabinet members are Liberal Democrats, and each has a portfolio.
Wealden  - all six cabinet members are Conservatives, and each has a portfolio.
Rother - all eight cabinet members are Conservatives, and each has a portfolio.
Hastings - ten cabinet members. Six Labour, four Conservatives. Five portfolios are held by Labour members, the sixth does not receive a special responsibility allowance.

West Sussex County Council - all eight cabinet members are Conservatives, and each has a portfolio
Adur - all six cabinet members are Conservatives, and each has a portfolio.
Arun - all seven cabinet members are Conservatives, and each has a portfolio.
Chichester - all seven cabinet members are Conservatives, and each has a portfolio.
Worthing - all six cabinet members are Conservatives, and each has a portfolio.
Mid Sussex - all six cabinet members are Conservatives, and each has a portfolio.
Horsham - all seven cabinet members are Conservatives, and each has a portfolio.
Crawley - all eight cabinet members are Conservatives, and each has a portfolio.

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