Swinney to axe extra councillor payments

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by Rona Mackay

John Swinney has today confirmed he will take action to end the payment of remuneration to councillors on the boards of arms length companies set up by councils – known as ALEOs.  In Glasgow’s Labour council £260,000 of additional payments are made to councillors sitting on the boards of these organisations.

The move follows an independent review by the Scottish Local Authority Remuneration Committee.  SNP Councillors sought to end the payments at the last meeting of Glasgow City Council but were blocked by Labour and the Lib Dems.

Secondary legislation could be used to bring the appointments and payments into line with sections 11-13 of the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004.

SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “An independent review has said this system of payments should end and as Glasgow’s Labour council haven’t put a stop to it voluntarily a re-elected SNP Government will.

“A re-elected SNP Government will take what action is necessary in parliament to bring Glasgow into line and put a stop to this £260,000 of unnecessary payments.  When it comes to ALEOs we will implement the recommendations of the Local Authorities remuneration review and bring payments and appointments to these organisations into line with the rest of local government.”

SNP Group leader on the council and candidate for Glasgow Cathcart, James Dornan, added: “The SNP in Glasgow argued in the council for these payments to end but Labour and Lib Dem councillors blocked our efforts.  I welcome John Swinney’s commitment to end these payments and put £260,000 of Glasgow’s money back to work for Glasgow.”