….Council officials trouser £9000 in Directors fees from “City of York Trading”
The York Council has said that its “Shareholder Group”, set up to monitor the performance of the new “Make it York” (MIY) Quango, will in future meet in public. The decision follows criticism of the Council for failing to establish, and publish, performance measures covering the whole of the new organisations remit.
Noticeably absent are any measures for City centre management and markets activities.
The Shareholder Group met in private on 6th July. No minutes of the meeting have yet been published. Following a Freedom of Information request, background information has been published but it is unlikely that any taxpayer would easily find it on the Councils web site (Click here)
There is no evidence that the five Councillors involved in the shareholders group have challenged MIYs controversial plans to demolish the fountain in Parliament Street or to re-site the popular children’s Christmas Carousel ride.
The next meeting of the group will apparently take place on 5th October. However the group does not yet even appear in the list of committees published by the Council.
All in all, it is time for senior Councillors to get a grip of the processes being used to ensure that the £918,000 of taxpayer’s money – handed to MIY – is being spent wisely and following proper consultation with residents.
City of York Trading (CYT)
Following the decision of the Councils Executive to ask for more information about City of York Trading it has emerged that two Council officials have been paid £9000 in connection with their Directorships of the Company. The Company is wholly owned by the York Council and mainly matches surplus resources to vacancies in the public sector.
The information emerged in response to a Freedom of Information request.
Directors at the York Council have a salary of around £100,000 a year while Assistant Directors receive about £75,000.
It is unclear who authorised the additional payments, when and for what reason?
One of the more controversial aspects of the revised constitution for CYT (and MIY) were proposals to remunerate Directors. It had been assumed that this would not apply to Council officials or Councillors, but this may not be the intention.
No declarations of interest were made in the papers prepared for the Executive meeting on 27th August.
Recently, Councillors in York have been more open in declaring their financial interests and the hospitality they have accepted. Current listings confirm that none have received remuneration from local Quangos like those that now run our libraries, theatre and museums..
Proper declarations have also been made for outside bodies such as the LGA and Yorwaste on which the Council has a shareholder interest, although there is currently no requirement to reveal the level of any remuneration received.