The answer is no. The claim has amused friends of mine – it is 50% more than Sir Alan Sugar’s apprentice afterall.
The reason why I am answering this odd question is here.
I will write a response over the weekend and update this page.
Update: Letter has just been emailed to the Chronicle. Will post text on here on Friday, whether Chronicle cover it or not.
Here is some text of one thing I posted on the brentfordtw8 forum on 8 August 2007:
“The increase will not be ending up in my pocket. I will be reducing my hours at work by around 25%. During the debate at Borough Council, I said that I would make an application to do this if the SRA’s were increased. I have since kept my word.”
I also said the following on the same thread on 30 July 2007:
Agenda item 7 of the following link should answer what options were considered:
9.3(b) – option 2 – of the following was agreed (this is the element of the report that has caused the most interest on this forum):
I voted for the option that was agreed.
I have responded to a couple of contributors on this thread already but I wanted to make some other general remarks.
I note that the article on the front page of this website, likewise on ChiswickW4, selectively quotes from a speech that I made in November 2003 when the previous large percentage increase in Special Responsibility Allowances was considered. Here is a link to the speech that I made at the time:
I also quoted three paragraphs from that very speech when I spoke last Tuesday. They were:
“Like most in this Chamber, I have no problem whatsoever in defending the existence of a Members allowance, indeed I would do so with conviction and enthusiasm. When I first become involved in politics in my teens, my father always used to passionately stress that no Councillor should go short for dedicating themselves to public service. No reasonable person could argue with that.”
“I accept that with an Executive Structure each Lead Member has additional responsibilities and if it were demonstrated that any of them, or for that matter Chairmen of Area Committees and Overview and Scrutiny, were going financially short as a consequence of their obligations, then I would give serious consideration to supporting Option 1.”
“If this report had demonstrated that Executive Members had to take unpaid leave from their jobs in order to fulfil their duties, then again I would be minded to support Option 1.”
‘Option 1’ refers to an option contained in a report that went to Borough Council in November 2003 and should not be confused with Option 1 in the report considered last week.
I tried to build on those quotes when I spoke on Tuesday by assuring the Chamber that the increase in my Special Responsibility Allowance would enable me to take more unpaid leave from my full-time job.
The discussion can be watched on the Council’s webcast:
The fhtory link does not work and you will not see the debate on the webcast. I think everything else works.
Update: Letter was not published in the 5 June edition – not best pleased as I am entitled to defend myself.