Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Chief Executive of Hull City Council

The news broke yesterday in the Hull Daily Mail that Kim Ryley, the chief executive of Hull City Council is departing to take up a post as chief executive of the newly formed unitary authority in Shropshire. During the last financial year, he earned in excess of £200,000 working in Hull. He would not be leaving for the same money, or less, so we can safely assume his new salary will be approaching a quarter of a million.

What we are concerned about in this branch is how much the new chief executive - who is yet to be appointed - will receive. Now is the time for action. I urge you all to write to Cllr Carl Minns, Leader of Hull City Council, and express your views. Ask him what he regards as a fair salary for the top officer at the Guildhall. Tell him salaries of £200,000 cannot be justified, even when the economy is not in a recession.

You can also write a letter to the Hull Daily Mail and express your opinion. We need to keep up the pressure on Hull City Council and we can only do this with your help.

Cllr Minns' e-mail address is:

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Do MPs give value for money?

Today, the people of Hull and the East Riding welcomed home our troops from the Yorkshire Regiment as they marched through the streets of Hull and Beverley. Those young men risk their lives for the security of their country, many of them for under £20,000 a year.

Our elected representatives in the House of Commons on the other hand are now off on their holidays. They have 12 weeks to recharge their batteries after their exhausting parliamentary year where they spent 143 days in Westminster. Although parliamentary work is only one part of an MP's job, for the next 12 weeks they can do as little or as much as they want to. Instead of holding the government to account - especially whilst our troops are risking their lives in Afghanistan and the country braces itself for a pandemic of swine flu - they are pleasing themselves and 'earning' over £15,000 in the process. This is just a little less than some of our soldiers, risking their lives for Queen and country, will earn in a year.

Who do you think gives value for money? Come and join us in our fight for better government.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

More publicity in the Yorkshire Post

Here is a link to a letter I wrote to the Yorkshire Post, which was published today. The subject is MPs' allowances and expenses.

Friday, 17 July 2009

NHS Yacht, Yes. Tamiflu, No

NHS Hull can find £500,000 to fund a yacht, however, they cannot find the cash to give everyone in the City 'Tamiflu' if they develop Swine Flu symptoms. Yet another example of the misuse of public money.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

East Riding Councillors' Allowances in the Hull Daily Mail

We have more coverage in the Hull Daily Mail today regarding the expenses and allowances of East Riding Councillors. Read the story HERE.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Letter in the Hull Daily Mail - July 14

I had a letter on behalf of the TPA published in the Hull Daily Mail today. As the Mail does not publish letters on its website, here is the letter in full:

Dear Editor

The news that Hull City Council chief executive, Kim Ryley, earns more than £200,000, may be a shock to many, however, I am not surprised.

Hull is not an isolated case. Peter Gilroy, the chief executive of Kent County Council, earned £255,000 in 2007-08, having received an 8.5 per cent increase on the previous year.

This pattern is being repeated around the country. While the rest of us are told to tighten our belts, the pay of senior council employees has risen well above inflation.

What annoys voters in equal measure is that My Ryley received an extra £10,815 for his role as returning officer in last year's city council elections. Surely this is part of the chief executive's job description. When you are earning a salary like his, extra work is not only justified, it should be expected.

There are thousands of pensioners across the city having to make ends meet on less than Mr Ryley's bonus who are angry at this revelation. It will interesting to see if My Ryley is willing to speak to the Mail and justify his pay package. I am sure the taxpayers of Hull would be interested to hear his response.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Allison
Organiser, Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire Branch, Taxpayers' Alliance

Thursday, 9 July 2009

A response from East Riding Council on Councillors Allowances and Expenses

I have received a reply from ERYC. As I have previously mentioned, there are 48 councillors out of a total of 67, who receive extra pay, officially known as a Special Responsibility Allowance. See below for all the details of that and much more. It seems as if some councillors are certainly not tightening their belts during the recession. Indeed, some are loosening their belts after enjoying a free lunch at the taxpayers' expense.


£ £

1. Basic Allowance

(a) All Members (per annum) 10,574

(b) IT Initial 700

(c) IT Maintenance (per annum) 142

2. Special Responsibility Allowances (per annum)


Leader of the Council and

Leader of the Conservative Group 34,130

Deputy Leader of the Council and Deputy

Leader of the Conservative Group 25,597

Other Cabinet Members 13,719

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group 13,719

Leader of the Labour Group 3,430

Leader of the Independent Group 3,430

Planning Committee Chairman 11,157

(b) Overview and Scrutiny and Overview & Management Committee -

Chairman 9,147

(c) Overview and Scrutiny and Overview & Management Committee -

Vice Chairman 2,287

(d) Area Planning Sub, Licensing, Licensing Act 2003, Pensions,

Staff Terms and Conditions Committees -

Chairman 3,430

3. Group Officer Supplements (per annum)*

(e) Conservative Group – (47)

Secretary - 4,572

Whip - 3,656

Assistant Secretary - 2,284

Assistant Secretary - 2,284

Assistant Group Whip – 2,284

Unallocated 994

-------- 16,074

(f) Liberal Democrat Group – (12)

Deputy Leader - 1,232 Secretary - 2,052

Whip - 410

Chair - 410

------- 4,104

* £342 per capita allocated by the Groups to Members holding Group Offices.


4. Co-optees Allowance

(a) Up to 4 hours duration 45.00

(b) Over 4 hours duration 75.00

5. Dependent Carers’ Allowances (per hour)

(a) Childcare 5.73

(b) Dependent Carer 10.00

6. Travelling Allowances

(a) Essential Car User -

Up to 999 cc (per mile) 0.340*

(plus per annum) (753)

Over 999 cc (per mile) 0.369 *

(plus per annum) (849)

(b) Casual Car User -

Up to 999 cc (per mile) 0.429 *

Over 999 cc (per mile) 0.469 *

(c) Bicycle (per mile) 0.100

(d) Public Transport -

Actual cost

* Up to 6,000 miles per annum, £0.17 thereafter

7. Subsistence Allowances

(a) Actual cost not exceeding

Breakfast - more than 4 hours before 11 am 6.29

Lunch - more than 4 hours including 12 noon to 2 pm 8.58

Tea - more than 4 hours including 3 pm to 6 pm 3.42

Dinner - more than 4 hours ending after 7 pm 17.14

Overnight (covering 24 hours) - Inner London 160.00

- Elsewhere 120.04

(b) Out of pocket expenses (per night) 4.57

NB The basic, special responsibility, group officer supplements, co-optees, bicycle and subsistence allowances have been increased automatically in line with the NJC officers’ national pay award.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Action Day - 11 July

A quick reminder to everyone that we are having an action day in Beverley on Saturday 11 July. We will be meeting outside the old cinema in Saturday Market at 11.30 am. We will then be door-to-door leafleting for around an hour and a half.

New members are more than welcome. Please contact me if you would like more details.

East Riding Council publishes councillors' expenses

The East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) has published councillors' expenses and allowances for 2008/9.

An amazing 48 councillors out of 67 claim a Special Responsibility Allowance. What the council does not say in its publication 'East Riding News', is how councillors come to be able to claim these extra sums. With some digging around, I can find this information out, however, once again we find public money being spent without any transparency.

I contacted Cllr Stephen Parnaby, Leader of ERYC, a week ago and asked him if he would consider publishing councillors' expenses and their attendance record at committee meetings on a regular basis, so we the public can find out who claims what and if they deserve the extras they are getting. One week later, Cllr Parnaby has not got back to me. I can't say I am surprised.

I am going to write to him today, repeating my request. I will keep you informed as and when he replies to me.