Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Liverpool Labour Shadow Cabinet

Shadow Executive Posts/Cabinet Posts/Spokespeople

Leader to Council - Joe Anderson
Deputy Leader - Paul Brant
Education and Skills - Ann O'Byrne
Environment - Alan Dean
Ethical Governance - Louise Baldock
Corporate Services - Joe Hanson
Assets and Development - Malcolm Kennedy
Enterprise and Tourism - Nick Small
Health, Care and Safeguarding - Wendy Simon
Safer, Stronger communities - Steve Munby

Chair of Education Select Committee - Jane Corbett
Chair of Health, Care and Safeguarding Select Committee - Roz Gladden

(In Liverpool they carry a greater level of responsibility that shadow spokespeople roles so this is a promotion for these two in effect)

I have not seen who we are putting up for all the Deputy Select Committee Posts yet -I think there are three, but Beatrice Fraenkel will be Labour's Deputy on Regeneration which makes perfect sense given her level of expertise and skills in this area.

Unfortunately the LibDems have slashed the number of committees and the number of committee places so we are having to make more of the outside bodies this year, so that as few a number of councillors as possible end up with no committees and no responsibility.

So Rose Bailey will be our member on the Police authority, which she does extremely well and achieves great respect for, but wont now be a front bench spokesperson, as that would mean having two big roles while others have none. She is going to work with Steve Munby and keep her involvement in the Community Safety aspect of his brief.

I am so proud and pleased to have become a spokesperson, and determined to do a good job. And I know the others are too. Wendy, Ann and I are all still a little bit wide-eyed as we only found out on Monday night, and whilst I cannot speak for them I know I feel a mixture of being delighted, keen and a wee bit daunted, but once I get the bit between my teeth I am sure it will be great.

Ethical Governance is a new role in Liverpool, created to try to counter the 1 star rating the council received from the Audit Commission - a big part of that was for financial management but also a big part was about the bad behaviour of councillors and the bad relationships they have with officers - I think mainly in terms of the administration rather than the opposition, although I would think there are faults there too. You will recall the Audit Commission referring to council meetings that were more like Eastern Europe...We also as an authority refer a huge amount of cases to the Standards Board, many of which are vexatious, something else that needs to be gotten on top of.

So I will be shadowing Paula Keaveney and together hopefully we can start to shift some of the more overtly testosterone laden behaviour back a bit. I was thinking about looking out my school prefect badge!

(More about last night's meeting, the result of the Boaler Street and Leighton Dene special meeting, the mayor making etc later today - I have a load of meetings to go to.)


scouseboy said...

Congratulations on your assignment. Congrats also to Ann. Her enthusiasm and commitment to helping ordinary people won the second seat here in Warbreck.

Anonymous said...

You dont mention the pay that goes with this new job, are you forgetting this You and wendy are doing quite well out of the system

Louise Baldock said...

Thanks for that Anon, I am very happy to clarify the position for any interested readrers. We get about an extra £4.5k for shadowing cabinet members. So putting this together with the nearly £10k we get for being backbench councillors that puts up on about £14.8k a year, although I have not actually done the calculation.

And of course readers will know that is an allowance, not a salary. Out of the money comes our phone bills, our petrol money, our travel time, our over-time, our week-end working etc. We barely break even, as do few councillors.

Neither of us has ever claimed a single penny extra to this allowance, even though in Wendy's case for instance, she has to drive from Huyton and back if she goes to a meeting during work time - which happens 4 or 5 days a week.

We would expect to work something around 30-40 hours each week exclusively for our residents, on top of our regular day jobs.

So, a basic allowance of say £7.50 per hour, less the phone bills, the petrol, the anti-social hours etc would probably put us, along with all other councillors on something that barely makes the minimum wage.

I think residents should be pleased that democracy is delivered, by all councillors, so cheaply.

Anyone who truly believes we are in this for the money is deluded.

I earn £20 per hour in my regular job, it would be much more financially beneficial for me to work full-time and not be a councillor, rather than work as a councillor for a quarter of the pay I could get from regular work.

But if it suits you to think that we are on the gravy train, then we shall have to agree to disagree.

I think the public get democracy on the cheap. And I dont argue with that, it is not meant to be a nice little earner, it is something we do because we believe in our work.

scouseboy said...

I agree with you . I remember when my expenses were published in the echo. I received £4500 (gross) as a senior ctte chair.(1990's) I got the bells of shannon from my work collegues in Fords. What they failed to realise was I was putting in at least an 80 hour week between being a councillor and working on a car production line!!!