By a Newsnet reporter

SNP MSP John Wilson has condemned Labour controlled North Lanarkshire Council for paying out £184,000 in bonuses to senior staff at a time when the local authority shed jobs, cut services and froze pay.

Mr Wilson welcomed the Scottish Information Commissioner’s order to publish details of the payments, after the Council attempted to block release of the documents detailing the payments.

Details of the payments were requested by the Sunday Herald last year, but the Council refused to reveal the figures, claiming that releasing the information would breach the privacy of staff members.  The request was then taken to the office of the Scottish Information Commissioner.  

The Information Commissioner rejected the arguments of North Lanarkshire Council, saying:  “There is a general interest in ensuring that public authorities are transparent and accountable in relation to the way they spend public money, and this extends to understanding how much money is paid to senior officers of the council on top of their salary.”

According to the information released by the Commissioner’s decision, 29 senior council staff were awarded bonus payments totalling over £184,000.  Council chief executive Gavin Whitefield, was given an extra £12,050 in addition to his £136,848 annual salary.  Five executive directors, who each earn an annual salary of £113,250, were given bonus payments of £9,000 each.

The SNP MSP for Central Scotland said:

“The decision to instruct North Lanarkshire Council to release the PRP [Performance Related Pay] awards for senior council officials is another victory for open and transparent government.

“We must ensure local authorities are held accountable – in particular when it comes to how public cash is spent.

“It is deeply disappointing to see £184,000 has been paid out to 29 head of services on top of their salaries, earning upwards of £77,000 a year.

“The fact that these officials continue to receive PRP at a time when ordinary staff salaries are not only being frozen, but they are also facing cuts in their hours or redundancies, is a scandal.

“At a time when many are struggling financially, people living in North Lanarkshire will be understandably angry that those earning huge salaries are receiving bonuses of this kind and the council attempted to cover it up.”


Comments  

 
#
alicmurray
2012-03-26 00:17

Another political party in Scotland with grubby hands, first the Tories and now SLab. I bet May can’t come quick enough for North Lanarkshire voters to get rid of them.
 
 
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alexb
2012-03-26 09:05

Quoting alicmurray:

Another political party in Scotland with grubby hands, first the Tories and now SLab. I bet May can’t come quick enough for North Lanarkshire voters to get rid of them.


Unfortunately, alicmurray, I,m one of them, and yes, certainly for me May,3rd, can,t come soon enough. Despite the size of my town, Cumbernauld, it,s been woefully neglected by a Labour-controlled council. They seem to think that by planting a statue next to the A 80, which very few living here can actually see, unless you live the the now-to-be-demolished multi,s, and that,s another shambles, or supposed decorations on the way in, or out of town, does the trick. No new bus station, no new town centre, just a bit added on when it should have razed to the ground and rebuilt, no hospital and the services at the health centres being cut-back, the latter being sanctioned with the Labour-council leader on the committee. I could go on and on, but having to watch my blood pressure I,ll stop for the moment. Thanks for listening.

 
 
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Thee Forsaken One
2012-03-26 13:45

The local Councillor for where I live (Very close to Cumbernauld) outright told a large group of angry constituents protesting over the (very) dodgy deals and lies being spread by the Council over a new lots of houses being built on waste ground that he didn’t need their votes to stay in office. The sooner we’re rid of the Labour placemen and women who have been untouchable for far too long the better.

Those waves on Central Way in Cumbernauld cost just shy of £1m after several blunders from the surveyor and the construction team which left the cost skyrocketing. Then there’s the so-called improvement to the bus station which consists of a few stickers and new lights. A bomb would have been cheaper and done more improvements.

Any project Labour tries to set up always ends up with costs through the roof. They couldn’t organise a ****-up in a brewery.
 
 
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alicmurray
2012-03-26 18:18

Hello alexb, I feel for you I really do I’m from Glasgow so we have both been there. With any luck we will have soon have good local people working with Holyrood to enhance our communities.
 

 
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edinburgh quine
2012-03-26 02:33

And of course, lets not forget, they’ll also have a reduction in their tax bill. I’ll let someone else do the sums.

I’m constantly bewildered these days for all sorts of reasons. Why, oh why does someone who earns nearly £137k need another £12k on top. Where does getting fair renumberation stop and greed start?

I’m betting the lower paid council workers in North Lanarkshire would love a bonus of £12k on top of their salaries. And I’m also betting some of them dont even earn £12k.

Shame on those greedy execs and even more shame on the councillors who allow this
 
 
#
ubinworryinmasheep
2012-03-26 05:45

Quote:

Why, oh why does someone who earns nearly £137k need another £12k on top. Where does getting fair renumberation stop and greed start?



Funny enough on describing why I dislike the Queen (not personally but her circumstances) to my girlfriend it went something along those lines. Why if the Queen is one of the richest people in the UK is she still getting money from tax payers who are struggling ? Surely there is a limit to how much money she needs ?

 
 
#
edinburgh quine
2012-03-26 08:18

No argument from me ub…sheep. Mind you, she’ll need a few bawbees for the loon and his quine, now, according to the tabloids, they’re trying for a wean. Oh, I forgot, he probably gets something from us too (other than his forces pay)
 
 
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ubinworryinmasheep
2012-03-26 13:39

I wonder if they will claim the Sure start maternity grant if its still on the go ?
 

 
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Mako
2012-03-26 08:29

Need to make sure that the local paper has this on its front cover. Residents of North Lanarkshire are unlikely to see this on the BBC or in any of the MSM.
 
 
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Dundonian West
2012-03-26 14:28

Mako.”Residents of North Lanarkshire are unlikely to see this on the BBC or in any of the MSM.”
These august bodies will decide it’s on a,”For Our Eyes Only Basis”,and therefore ignore it.
 

 
#
cjmjr
2012-03-26 08:49

The Queen also recieves 15%of the Scottish crown estates, meaning every seven years one years revenues goes to the Royal Family. It appears everyone gets a slice of the revenues with Scotland getting whatever is left over, if anything is.
 
 
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ubinworryinmasheep
2012-03-26 13:41

I’ve no major beef wi the Queen getting something for what she does but the point is that when your one of the richest in the country and everybody else is hard up she shouldnt be getting as much. No wonder shes plannnin a wee publicity tour of the UK to keep in wi us peasants.
 
 
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Thee Forsaken One
2012-03-26 13:48

Now now. You know the Queen is technically in fuel poverty due the astronomical sums of money it takes to heat Buckingham Palace?

Unlike Mr. Cameron, at least the Queen is sort of with us together. 😛
 

 
#
Hamish100
2012-03-26 09:31

Can we ask the same question of all the Labour Councils and others if such bonuses were paid

–may help make our mind up come the May Elections.
 
 
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Saltire Groppenslosh
2012-03-26 10:53

Disgusting – they should be ashamed and wear bags over their heads.

Nuff said.
 
 
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Jiggsbro
2012-03-26 10:55

I used to be on performance related pay: if I didn’t perform, I wasn’t paid.
 
 
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proudscot
2012-03-26 14:48

Quoting Jiggsbro:

I used to be on performance related pay: if I didn’t perform, I wasn’t paid.



That would result in every Labour cooncillor OWING their council money every week!

 
 
#
Thee Forsaken One
2012-03-26 14:57

Quoting proudscot:

Quoting Jiggsbro:

I used to be on performance related pay: if I didn’t perform, I wasn’t paid.



That would result in every Labour cooncillor OWING their council money every week!



Proceeds of Crime Act?

 

 
#
truth
2012-03-26 15:50

Contrast this with Birmingham where the top level have taken a 10% cut, and the next level down, a pay freeze for the third year running.
 
 
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rhymer
2012-03-27 11:28

The usual sleazy money- grubbing attitude by Labour councillors.

Others have voted themselves pay reductions and/ or pay freezes but Labour councils continue to give themselves bonuses while enforcing pay freezes and redundancies upon council staff.

Vote these leaches OUT of office in the May elections.
 

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