Friday, 24 April 2015

Labour Leader questioned about Sefton Council's financial arrangements with Labour Mayor Anderson

Some people wonder why Radicals, progressives and those whose politics are generally considered as being on the Left want nothing to do with the Labour Party. The events surrounding  Labour Mayor Joe Anderson receiving what the judge at an Industrial Tribunal described as 'a reverse form of zero hours contract, whereby the Respondent was bound to make to make payment of salary but the Claimant (Labour Mayor Joe Anderson) was not bound to provide any services.
 
The disgraceful saga that saw Liverpool Labour Mayor -who worked in a Sefton MBC school - take his employers to an Industrial Tribunal  came up at last night's Sefton Council meeting. The response of the Labour Leadership I have copied below. The tribal loyalty, the sense of the entitlement and the contempt for accountability are the hallmarks for a certain sort of Labour politicians. They sound like the MP's who kept repeating that their expenses claims were within the rules and applied no common sense or moral code. The deal done by Sefton was effectively done in secret. I can find no record of it being reported to the Council or open to scrutiny. When I asked in a written question which elected councillors knew about the deal there was no answer! This process began before the school was an academy .

The Judge at the Tribunal concluded :

It seems to me as though the Claimant (Labour Mayor Joe Anderson) has simply not given sufficient attention as to how the arrangement he made with Sefton and so continued with the Respondent might look to outsiders. The Claimant was entitled to receive almost £80,000 per annum from Liverpool for his role as elected Mayor, yet also procured a payment (£4,500 plus pension) from public funds for which he provided, and was not expected to provide, any service. It was, more likely, considered to be a reverse form for a zero hours contract, whereby the Respondent was bound to make payment of salary but the Claimant was not bound to provide any services. It is certainly fairly arguable that this arrangement may strike members of the public as constituting a misapplication of public monies. I asked Mr Morgan (Anderson's lawyer) on several occasions what benefits there might be that accrued to the Respondent for the payments and for preserving the Claimant's post for an indeterminate period. The only answer that I received was that it gave "kudos" to the school to be associated with the Mayor of Liverpool. The full report can be found here
 
QUESTIONS RAISED BY MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL

1. Question submitted by Councillor Brodie-Browne to the Leader of the Council (Councillor P Dowd)
“(a) Will the Leader inform the Council who it was who authorised/signed off the deal between Sefton MBC and Liverpool Elected Mayor Joe Anderson in respect of his pay and pension as notional 'Mentor' at Chesterfield High School and also inform the Council which Sefton MBC elected councillors were informed of this arrangement both before or after the deal?

Response:

There was no arrangement between Sefton MBC and Mayor Joe Anderson. Chesterfield High School was an academy and therefore any arrangement was agreed by the school.

(b) What has the Leader done to have this money repaid to the Council for what the Judge in a recent Appeal Tribunal described as a "reverse zero hours contract"

Response:

The Council did not fund the arrangement with Mayor Anderson and therefore there is no money to be repaid

(c) What was the total cost to Sefton MBC of this deal, including pension?”

Response:

There was no cost to Sefton MBC of the school’s arrangement with Mayor Anderson



Is Cllr Dowd dancing on a pin here? Clearly Anderson was paid £4,500 a year plus pension  for doing nothing. Certainly during this period the school became an Academy and was forced to make redundancies but someone funded the agreement that Sefton made-an agreement that was for an indefinite period. Para 22 of the Industrial Tribunal report clearly states: Sefton had agreed to fund some of the cost from the supply teacher budget and again at para 19..... Sefton  is currently covering the cost of the (Joe Anderson) secondment .

You may consider that these replies are  not open and transparent.

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