Broxtowe council coalition accused of creating ‘jobs for the boys’

The new ruling coalition at Broxtowe Borough Council has been accused of creating new paid jobs for itself after it came to power.

After it came to power in May, the Labour, Lib Dem and independent coalition has set up three new committees – the Environment and Climate Change Committee, the Leisure and Health Committee and the Personnel Committee.

The council says these will help them achieve more, and improve the borough. 

Specifically, they hope the environment committee will help it achieve its target of becoming carbon neutral by 2027 – a plan it adopted last night.

But the Conservatives, who are now in opposition, say the new committees are unnecessary, and have been created so that Labour and Lib Dem councillors can take the allowances.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labour and the Liberal Democrats refuted these claims.

There is also disagreement about how much the new committees will cost the council.

The Conservatives say they will cost £48,000 over the next four years, but Labour say it would only cost £1,600 a year.

Currently, committee chairmen receive an additional allowance of between £4,745 per year and £2,033 a year.

Vice chairmen receive an allowance of between £678 and £1,563 a year.

Councillor Philip Owen, representing Nuthall East and Strelley for the Conservatives, said: “Clearly what this is all about is creating jobs for the boys and the girls.

“One of the ways to keep a rag-bag coalition under control is by handing out jobs with money attached to them. It is disgraceful.

“You can keep a coalition much better in line if you’ve given them jobs and they’re going to lose something at the end of it. 

“It’s not going to improve the efficiency of this council in any way, shape or form.”

Council leader Milan Radulovic, who represents Eastwood Hilltop for Labour, said: “What we’ve done in changing the committee structure is prioritise the issues that really matter to local people.

“One of the key things has been climate change, so we’ve now got a climate change committee.

“We’ve also now got a proper reporting procedure for health.”