Previous 15% pay cut overridden for some top Havering politicians in restructure

Havering Council's cabinet has announced its proposals for this year's budget. Picture: Havering Cou

The new administration was finalised at a meeting on June 13 - Credit: Archant

Some leading figures in Havering's new administration are getting increased salaries while their colleagues remain with a previous across-the-board pay cut of 15 per cent or more.

Havering leader, Cllr Ray Morgon, has said the new agreement has seen changes to special responsibility allowances (SRAs) but will "lead to greater longer-term savings".

At a meeting on June 13, in a bid to make Havering Council more efficient, the newly-elected leadership groups of Havering Residents' Association (HRA) and Labour formalised a plan to slim down the local authority's structure, including the removal of some committees and consolidation of the scrutiny groups.  

But Conservative councillor David Taylor raised concerns over the new salary breakdowns, saying some of the proposals are an increase on a North Havering Residents' Group (NHRG) amendment approved during the previous Tory administration in March. 

That amendment saw SRAs - which are paid to councillors who take on additional duties such as cabinet posts, committee chairships and leadership positions - all reduced by 15pc from April 1.

At the time, Havering Council was looking to make around £13million in savings.

However, the new agreement - which came into effect immediately after the meeting in June - saw Cllr Morgon's salary put at £40,000. 

This is a reduction of only 13pc - rather than 15pc - on the £45,901 SRA in place before April and an increase of 2pc on the leader's SRA from April to the meeting in June.

The mayor's has been reduced by about only 2pc from £12,240 before April to £12,000 after the June meeting and the overview and scrutiny sub-committee chair's has reduced by nearly 4pc from £7,803 before April to £7,500 in June.  

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Meanwhile, deputy mayor Cllr Stephanie Nunn has been given a pay cut of about 26pc compared to the SRAs before April. 

An additional £16,000 has been added into the budget as a group support fund to aid additional scrutiny work. 

TREVOR McKEEVER

Mayor of Havering Trevor McKeever - Credit: Sandra Rowse

Cllr Morgon said: "Before the elections, a reduction in councillor allowances was agreed and these savings have been allocated to the street cleaning budget. 

“Since the election and the recent annual general meeting, it was agreed to slim down the committee structure and further change the amount of allowances paid to councillors.

"This replaces the former agreement, and collectively will lead to greater longer-term savings.”

New mayor, Cllr Trevor McKeever, said: “To me, it’s not about the money and last night (June 13) was the first time I knew anything about it.”   

Despite the differences, Cllr Taylor said he acknowledges there is an “overall reduction in the total allowance spend” and he “applauds the cuts”.