Croydon councillors paid £1.5m last year

Photo: Alexander Ridley

Croydon Council paid almost £1.5million to councillors last year, the highest spend for any borough in London, according to research carried out by the London Evening Standard.

Croydon Council leader Mike Fisher is on a salary of £53,224 while the basic allowance for councillors in the Conservative-led borough is £11,800.

Steve O’Connell, a Conservative councillor for the Kenley ward in Croydon, is Britain’s highest paid councillor with a salary of over £118,000.

He is paid £43,861 for his role as a Croydon councilor and £53,439 for sitting on the London assembly. He earns a further  £21,211 as chairman of the Metropolitan Police authority, a role Boris Johnson appointed him to.

Cllr O’Connell has previously defended his high income saying he gave up a “relatively promising career” in banking to become a politician.

Speaking to ELL, Cllr O’Connell said: “I do three jobs very well – otherwise the good people of Croydon wouldn’t have elected me. I’m providing a very good service.”

Hackney Council spent over £1million on councillors’ salaries last year with Mayor Jules Pipe taking home £75,846.

Lewisham and Tower Hamlets’ bills were lower at £839,861 and £829,114 respectively.

Lewisham Mayor Sir Steve Bullock is paid £78,835 while Mayor Lutfur Rahman is on a salary of £65,000. Tower Hamlets’ first directly elected mayor had been due a salary of £75,000 but Labour councillors successfully petitioned to lower it by £10,000 after Mayor Rahman’s election in October.

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