Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Brighton and Hove Greens - breaking manifesto promises already?

The Green Party won the council elections in Brighton and Hove. The Greens now control a minority administration  because Labour, who came second, rejected any idea of coalition.

Green MP, Caroline Lucas, is reportedly very unhappy. The Greens ideal was to get a close second place to Labour, so Labour would be responsible for implementing the austerity cuts while the Greens could continue to make impossible promises that they wouldn't have to deliver on. The first Green administration overseeing 'swinging cuts' is the last thing that Caroline wanted.

One of the 13 headline priority pledges in the Greens manifesto is to ensure that the highest paid council worker gets no more than eight times the pay of the lowest paid worker. As Brighton and Hove City Council is a unitary authority with a well paid 'chief executive' with a raft of well paid 'strategic super directors' below him, top pay is very high.

The local media says that the Greens will ask the Chief Executive to take a pay cut to bring his pay to only ten times that of the lowest paid council worker. Which is odd because their manifest priority was for eight times, not ten.

Oddly enough, every time this pledge is mentioned now, it is stated as being 10 times - despite the clear pledge for 8 times at the front of the Greens manifesto. Even in the Greens report of their first council cabinet meeting the figure is mysteriously transformed from 8 to 10!


  1. I don't know what the lowest paid Council employee is paid, but if the Chief Exec is on £150K then all they have to do is make sure no-one is paid less than £15K. Given that the minimum wage equates to almost £12K then this shouldn't be difficult. Or, looked at another way, how many Council employees are on more than £120K (ten times minimum wage)? I suspect only a handful - so gesture politics at its worse.

  2. Anonymous - maybe that is why the Greens want to go for 10 times instead of 8 times - because it sounds good but means little?

    But their original pledge of 8 times means the lowest paid would have to receive £18,750 or, if the lowest paid council worker is on £15k, top pay must be no than £120,000 - quite a cut for some and then there are emoluments (pensions/benefits) to be considered.