Lib Dems Claim Big Pay Rise Planned for Council Leader

Quote source saying Peter Mason's allowance to be increased by over 50%

Ealing Council leader Peter Mason's allowance is currently below the London average
Ealing Council leader Peter Mason's allowance is currently below the London average

The Liberal Democrat group on Ealing Council are saying that a proposal is to be made for a significant increase in the allowance given to the Ealing Council leader Peter Mason.

It is quoting a source which it says has told them that an item is set to be added to the agenda of the first official Cabinet meeting of the new administration which is due to take place on Wednesday 18 May.

It is claimed the meeting will be asked to approve an increase in the Special Responsibilities Allowance (SRA) paid to the leader to £58,000. It is not clear whether this would also include the basic allowance and whether other SRAs will be increased by the same level but in either case this would represent a rise in excess of 50%

For the financial year 2021/22 the basic allowance for an Ealing councillor was £9,708 and the leader’s allowance was £32,100. These have been unchanged for at least seven years and are below the average for councils across the capital.

London Councils commissioned an independent study of councillors’ allowances in 2018 which concluded that a council leader should receive total allowances of £68,130. The report says of the council leader’s role, “This is a full-time job, involving a high level of responsibility and includes the exercise of executive responsibilities. It is right that it should be remunerated on a basis which compares with similar positions in the public sector, while still retaining a reflection of the voluntary character of public service.”

Up until May 2021 Cllr Mason was employed by the Commonplace group which specialised in community engagement solutions and provided software for Ealing’s consultation exercises on traffic measures during the pandemic.

Gary Malcolm the new Leader of the Opposition said, "Liberal Democrats do not think that Labour should increase their Leader's salary to £58,000 from the current level of £32,100. Any changes of allowances should be discussed more widely in public rather than rushing any controversial decisions like this."

At the same meeting the new administration is hoping to get approval for a £23million spending programme which includes a staged introduction of the London Living Wage for care workers in the borough.

When asked for comment Ealing Council said that there was no such item currently on the agenda of the Cabinet meeting but did not deny the claim that it is intended to be added closer to the meeting.

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May 12, 2022