Labour Councillor, Jack Davies is to step down from his safe Ashton St. Peter's seat and retire from politics in May. I've been told he isn't well, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's more to do with the feud between him and Councillor Quinn in the mean way Kieran took the leadership from Roy Oldham.
I'm told there was two contendors for the seat which is a battle of the councillors husbands. Councillor Denise Ward's husband from Denton North East (I don't know his first name, so lets just call him "Mr. Ward") and Frank Travis who is the current Ashton-under-Lyne town centre manager and husband to Waterloo councillor, Lynn Travis.
Frank was hoping to take home a nice severance pay from Tameside Council for voluntary redundancy and be selected for the Labour stronghold of the St. Peters ward. It would of meant he could of continued to sponge off the taxpayer, whilst ripping them off claiming they lost their job. I'm told that Kieran Quinn also promised him a position in the cabinet if he was to get elected.
Unfortunately, he only got two votes. A slap in the face for Kieran Quinn as his favoured candidate failed to meet the mark. So Denise Ward's husband is now the candidate. It looks like Wankie Frankie is to set sail into early retirement. Or perhaps Kieran Quinn will keep him in a job for the time being?
He isn't the only one taking a redundancy pay and becoming a councillor. Yvonne Cartey, GMB Union Rep for Tameside Council (yes, she is one of the paid union reps costing us a quarter of million each year) is continuing the trend of Labour blood-letting by replacing Councillor Bill Harrison for the St. Michael's ward. No doubt, she will be claiming her severance pay.
It's a pitty that the 800 staff facing redundancy can't just take a few grand from the council with the promise that they're going to be on a nice earner from a safe seat as a Labour councillor.
I ask councillors to read the letters pages of the Tameside Advertiser. What do you see? Week after week, people asking for councillors to take a pay cut and even reduce the number of councillors. Yet at each occasion, I have tried to raise this at full council, it has been rejected by the Civic Advisory Panel. Who selects the Civic Advisory Panel? The councillors themselves!
According to research carried out by the TaxPayers' Alliance in 2007, a report said that Tameside Councillors had the 9th highest average salary in the country at just over £19,000. At the time this was more than the average salary of someone in Tameside working in a full time job. That's in contrast to a councillor who works on average of 15 hours a week according to the LGA. It's no wonder that when I went through the councillors register of interests, that no more than 8 councillors had a "second job". It appears that some are more equal than others!
Other local blogs from Tameside Tories and Northern Voices have attacked cabinet pay. I wont repeat what they have said, but click on the links to read the excellent points made.
Nice work, if you can get it!