The Times series carries an interview with Conservative association member and Chairman of the Hendon and West Hendon Conservative groups, Adrian Murray-Leonard. He says:
“To take the decision to increase allowances is immoral, disgusting and vile. It is a crazy situation. I don't have a problem with the party, it is the people, they are greedy vultures and I don't want to be associated with them.Barnet council leader Lynne Hillan has been defending the decision in the paper. Posing for a pic in the dress she wore on the fateful night that Item 5.3 was passed, she says:
“Most of them are in it for themselves. They are living under an illusion of grandeur. Most of the people who are getting whipped to make the decision should stand up against it.”
“Although it may look as if there was a considerable increase for one particular special responsibility, it actually works out that the majority of councillors are either receiving the same as they were before, a very small increase, or some are getting a decrease.It doesn't just look as though there was a considerable increase for one particular special responsibility - there was a considerable increase for one particular special responsibility, hers: Lynne Hillan's getting an extra £20,000 a year for being council leader.
"...It's a redistribution."
(And redistribution is not usually considered progressive unless it results in a more equitable sharing of the cake.)
She says that, overall, councillors' allowances will not rise - but that is only because this year the Cabinet members have agreed to waive some of their increase.
The GMB union has got involved now. The national office is looking into a judicial review of the way the council took the decision, not giving the required notice for that piece of business.