Sunday 30 August 2009
Easy Money for another greedy Barnet Councillor
Last week’s shock announcement that Barnet Council intends to transform itself into a no-frills easyCouncil now has a possible explanation. The less money the council spends on front line services, the more money councillors can spend stuffing their pockets with extra allowances.
Quick off the mark is Councillor Melvin Cohen (pictured left) who is set to be awarded an allowance of £7,480.50 for chairing the Constitutional Review Committee - a task which had previously been performed at no cost to taxpayers. This committee meets just four times a year, meaning that Cllr Cohen will receive an eye watering £1,870 per meeting.
The award is subject to a formal vote at the next council meeting, but with the Tory councillors being whipped, that will be a mere rubber stamping exercise.
Last year, Melvin Cohen received allowances of £26,771. With this new payment, plus the increase councillors awarded themselves in March, he will now receive £34,909 a year - a rise of more than 30%.
Meanwhile, council staff are expected to settle for a pay rise of around 1%, and in the private sector many workers will receive no increase at all.
At a time when hard pressed taxpayers are really struggling to cope with the effects of recession, and Barnet residents are losing their jobs at an alarming rate, there really is no justification for this wanton greed.
Regular readers of Not The Barnet Times will recall our recent report that Melvin Cohen’s son, Cllr Dean Cohen, voted to approve the decision taken by his father and the rest of the Cabinet to slash the warden service.
The reason given for sacking the wardens was purportedly to save money. The council can’t find the money to protect the elderly and vulnerable, but they can find it for Melvin Cohen to have a wage rise. Trebles all round!