Interesting report in the Sunday Herald about substantial extra earnings several Glasgow councillors (Labour and SNP) have secured from sitting on the boards of organisations set up or funded by the Council. Glasgow councillors already get an exceptionally high basic allowance of £16,234. As is usual there are extra allowances for the Council leadership, opposition leader, and committee chairmen.
But the article gives a focus to the extra money for serving on ALMOs – Arms Length Management Organisation – set up by the council which previously they ran directly. So, for instance, those who serve on City Housing, which manages the Council housing stock, are paid £6,335. One Labour councillor is paid £15,836 for being the chairman.
Sometimes a councillor would sit on more than one board. For instance Cllr Paul Carey is paid £6,335 for sitting on the board of City Markets, which manages the Council's Fruit and Flower Market. He is also paid £10,558 for chairing City Parking.
Councillors also receive payments for sitting on the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Glasgow Clyde Regeneration, Glasgow Cultural Enterprises and assorted other bodies. Five Labour councillors share £60,310 for sitting on Community Health Partnership boards.
52 of Glasgow's 79 councillors make more than their basic councillor allowance. It does seem a high ratio and represents very considerable patronage. Also various conflict of interests arise. "Let's go on funding xx group as then we can have some lucrative posts on its board." "We could run the housing directly by the council and not get paid extra to sit on the housing committee or we could call ourselves an ALMO and get paid to be on the board." "We could privatise the Fruit and veg market or the Conference Centre but then we wouldn't be able to appoint ourselves to get remuneration on their boards."