Both of these characters, in their own way, demonstrate everything that is wrong with the executive level at Barnet Council. Both of these gentlemen are extremely well renumerated. Let us look at Mr Walkley first.
Mr Walkley gets £200,000 per year plus perks. Why is he paid so much? The argument goes that "you need to pay top dollar to attract talent". So where did Barnet Council recruit Mr Walkley from and how did they tempt him away? What top organisation was he running and what experience did he bring?
Erm, this is where the argument rather falls down. He was working for Barnet Council as the previous CEO's deputy. Yes, Barnet Council, paid a kings ransom to attract a bloke who already worked for them. Now lets consider his £200,000 salary. Whilst public sector workers up and down the country have been laid off, Mr Walkley has been happily racking up the cash. He is paid for leadership. The previous leader of Barnet Council, Lynne Hillan, famously exclaimed that "we are all in this together" shortly before awarding herself a payrise. Well Mr Walkley, if we are all in this together, give yourself a £50,000 a year pay cut. As Mr Walkley is on top rate tax, this will actually only result in £25,000 less money finding it's way into his account. If Mr Walkley cannot manage on £150,000 a year, is he really the man to be balancing the budgets at Barnet? Consider this. This reduction in his pay could find the jobs of three teaching assistants, helping special needs children in Barnet. Mr Walkley's salary could support three other members of staff doing invaluable work and he'd still be getting £150,000 a year.
I ask everyone in Barnet. Do you think that if Mr Walkley adopted my suggestion, he'd be displaying leadership values?
Then we go to the Deputy CEO of Barnet. Mr Andrew T. Ravers. Now I have to confess, I don't really know how much Mr Ravers earns. That is because he doesn't actually work for Barnet Council. He works as a consultant for his own company. This means that unlike his boss, Mr Walkley, he doesn't pay 50% tax on his earnings. By using this mecahnism, I suspect he actually takes home more cash than his boss. Various public figures have criticised such arrangements. Lynton Crosby, who is campaign manager for both Boris Johnson and our local GLA rep Brian Coleman, branded Ken Livingstone a hypocrite and a tax avoider for using such a mechanism for to avoid tax paid on private earnings. Brian Coleman is a senior member of the Barnet Council cabinet and so presumably signs off on Mr Travers pay arrangements. He could veto them, but chooses not to. If Mr Livingstone is branded a hypocrite by Crosby, what does this make Coleman? This morning, I emailed Brian Coleman to ask the question. I will publish whatever reply Mr Coleman deems fit to give. BTW Brian, if you are reading this, please respond with due respect.
Dear Councillor Coleman,Your GLA campaign director has criticised Ken Livingstone for using a private company to avoid paying income tax on his earnings. As a senior member of Barnet Council, please can you explain why a Conservative administration supports the use of such a mechanism by Mr Andrew Travers, deputy CEO of Barnet Council, to avoid income tax.Please can you explain why the Conservatives in Barnet think such a mechanism is OK for someone employed by a Conservative Council but unacceptable for Ken Livingstone for private work.RegardsRoger Tichborne
We await his reply. In the meantime we call on all such troughing to end