Cuts for some, but fat cats get fatter at Westminster Council

It has not been widely reported that Westminster Council are to close its three One Stop shops (Harrow Road, Church Street and Victoria Street). The first one due to close is the St James’s One Stop Shop this month. Thereafter anyone visiting City Hall will be directed to Pimlico Library which is about a mile further away. The plan is to replace the three One Stop Shops with ‘express stops’ which comprise of an automatic machine located in some libraries and estate offices.

A spokeswoman for Westminster Council told Nutsville that they have no information on whether the new automated machines will accept cash or how you can pay by cash late on a weekday evening for a parking scratch card. When we asked how we would buy a £2 parking scratch card when the extended weekday and evening parking restrictions come in on December 1st, she said “perhaps we could come in and buy them in advance”.

Understandably staff moral is low at the One Stop Shops as Westminster Council bosses  are sacking most of the staff just before Christmas. Residents using the One Stop Shops told Nutsville how they couldn’t understand why the three branches were being closed with the only explanation from staff was because of the cut backs.

But it looks as if for a few at Westminster the Champaign corks will be popping this Christmas.

The table below taken from the Councils own draft accounts show the high earners at City Hall.

Salary, Fee & Allowances Private Health Ins. Bonuses Expense allow Pension Cont. Total
Strategic Director of Finance and

Performance – Barbara Moorhouse

2010/11 163,326 1,91 332 27,040 192,617
2009/10 41,713 4,537 7,041 53,292
Chief Executive -Mike More 2010/11 200,379 164 32,061 232,604
2009/10 200,379 234,500
Head of Procurement – David

Loseby

2010/11 164,426 164,426
2009/10 262,800 262,800

Babara Moorhouse started work at the Council in January 2010 with an annual salary of £163,326.

David Loseby is agency staff with his costs being paid to the Langley Agency.

The Conservatives have said that public sector workers should not be paid more than the Prime Minister who earns £142,500 without special approval.

Mike More

On 31 March 2011, Cllr Caplan and Mike More issued a communication across the Council entitled “Every Penny Counts” which set out 10 principles to help Council achieve its 2011/12 Budget, specifying that every decision should be measured against one of these Principles which include Spending, Roles, Pay, Meetings, Travel, Purchases, Efficiency, Enterprise, Administration and Support.

The “Every Penny Counts” communication issued on 31 March has as one of its Principles – “Enterprise: Every opportunity should be sought to recover costs or charge for activities or officer time where possible, potentially through our traded vehicle Westco.
Nutsville particularly liked this one
Consider a reasonable cap on the daily rate of temporary staff.

The Council already has a cap of £300 per day.  Any further reduction at this stage when we are using TACs in posts we plan to make redundant, may be counter-productive.

As part of “Finance Foundations” the new Finance Operating Model which will be implemented in September 2011 will only use temporary staff by exception and no temporary staff is built into the model on an on-going basis.

Now just how much was the temporary head of parking advertised at?????

Westminster Council have increased the number of top level employees earning over £100,000 whilst shedding the lower paid ones below £60,000.

Number of employees 2010/11 Number of employees 2009/10
£100,000 – £104,999 8 1
£105,000 – 109,999 1 4
£110,000 – £114,999 3
£115,000 – £119,999 1 3
£120,000 – £124,999 1 5
£125,000 – £129,999 2
£130,000 – £134,999 3
£160,000 – £164,999 1
£165,000 – £169,999 1
£200,000 – £204,999 1 1
21 15

The Council has spent almost £2.5 million on 10 ‘temporary’ staff, nine of whom who have worked for the Council for over two years, according to Council figures revealed by Labour Councillors. Of the 10 ‘temporary’ staff, only two, an Environmental Health Officer and a Deputy Services Manager in the Family Recovery Team, could be said to be working in front-line services.

In addition, the Council employs 34 temporary staff earning over £300 a day.

In June, Westminster Council agreed to spend £960,000 on five ‘Transformation and Change Management’ consultants from Price Waterhouse Coopers for the next 12 months, with the option to extend the contract for a further six months bringing the total cost to Westminster Council Tax payers to £1,440,000.

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;

How can Westminster Conservatives justify spending £2.5 million on 10 so-called ‘temporary’ staff at a cost of up to £745 a day when they are axing front line services to the most vulnerable residents? Westminster Conservatives are guilty of wasting the Council Tax payments of hard-working Westminster residents. This is an absolute disgrace and a national scandal. Why don’t Eric Pickles and Grant Shapps condemn this blatant misuse of public money?”

Along with the One Stop Shops the Council are making £60 million of cuts, to half its front line services, including:

The axing of services to 3,000 elderly residents with moderate care needs,

Closing the St James’s Library in Victoria

Cutting over 70 weekend street sweepers in the north of Westminster.

The Council are also looking to criminalise the distribution of free soup and are withdrawing talking books from the blind hoping to save just over £4000.

But the Council has a cap on anyone earning over £300 per day, really is that so, as the table below contains a list of temporary staff still employed for all or part of June 2011

Job Title Rate per day
Temporary Head  of  Regeneration and  Partnerships 745.80
Senior Project Manager (reporting and governance processes) 600.00
Project Officer 600.00
Financial Analyst 576.00
Head of Parking 566.50
Senior Project Manager 525.00
Business Analyst 515.00
Project Manager 515.00
Social Care Relet Impl. Manager 515.00
Treasury Accountant 476.80
Building Schools for the Future Project Manager 457.65
Project manager 437.75
Head of Finance 424.80
Project Accountant 421.40
Project Manager 420.00
Financial Analyst 420.00
Business Analyst 420.00
Business Analyst 420.00
Finance Trainer 412.00
Corporate Asset Portfolio Manager 400.00
Business Analyst 399.60
Business Analyst 399.60
Business Analyst 399.60
Business Analyst 399.60
Bridge Engineer 394.88
IT Business Analyst 384.00
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Manager 383.20
Principal Accountant 378.55
Safeguarding Adults Lead 367.25
PiP Programme Manager 360.00
Interim Projects & Hard FM Contract Manager 360.00
Senior Principal Support Account 348.00
Deputy Service Manager 310.86
Mechanical and Engineering Manager 310.75

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1 Comment

MHAugust 4th, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Who gets paid PENCE a day!

399.60 may look better, but in reality its£400 a day. For what?

A wholly defective council with ineffectual officers, grasping managers and supine Councillors.

Lightweight Lee Rowley, Bumbling Barrow, Babs Moorehouse and the ineffectual Mike ‘More’ & More as ChEx.

Jabber on about branding and aspirations all you like, we will keep returning to one immutable fact: Westminster Council is rubbish, and nobody in their right mind would entertain them if the opposition wasn’t so pisspoor.

How can any Council have any credibility when it’s benefit claiming Leader has a free parking permit, drives a Maserati and them implores us all to step up to the plate and help out with charges that would make a Sheik’s eyes water.

Its enough to make a cat laugh.

Cassandra

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