Thursday, 19 April 2012

Why one Labour Council Leader may not want victory elsewhere.

In 2010-11 Russell Roberts  the Labour Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council picked up £58,962, including £1,177 in travel and subsistence, from his work as leader of the council. He also received £23,544 as chairman of South Wales Police Authority and £13,344 from Cwm Taf Health Board. Earlier this month Plaid Cymru revealed that Russell Roberts as deputy leader of the Welsh Local Government Association received £4,000 a year.

Russell Roberts was also paid £2,593 a year as a member of the English-based Local Government Improvement and Development Board. That takes his annual earnings to a staggering £102,443 a year.

This from the Leader of a Council  which in  2010 threatened staff with a "lock-out" unless they accepted worse pay and conditions under new contracts.

Pauline Jarman, Plaid Cymru leader on RCT may well be playing to the political GalleryNut she has a point. when she said.
 "People in RCT are entitled to ask Councillor Roberts how he can justify having five jobs funded through the public sector. How on earth can he be spending the necessary time as council leader which the Independent Remuneration Board for Wales has made it clear that should be a full time role?
"The Welsh Local Government Minister should tell Councillor Roberts that these sorts of practices are unacceptable but because he is a Labour councillor he will probably sit on his hands and turn a blind eye. If anyone knows if Councillor Roberts has further public sector jobs I’d be pleased to hear from them.
"I challenge Councillor Roberts to justify his five paid jobs but I’m not holding my breath. He is clearly not able to defend the indefensible. He’s the head of a tired Labour Party in RCT that has ditched its principles and lost touch with reality.
"He recently put his hand up against giving staff a one off £200 ex-gratia payment which we proposed at the recently budget meeting following the national employers announcing a third year of pay freezes. At the same time he was coining it in from five places."

But we must also ask ourselves. Why has Russell Roberts secured these lucrative appointments?.

Could it be that after the council in 2008 R.C.T waonl one of the two councils under overal control from Labour . The other being Neath Port Talbot whose former leader Derrick Vaughan departed to the European Parliament in 2009.

Is Roberts position more to to with him being one of the few Labour council; group leader in a position of power?

We saw with the AWEMA scandal  which has bee so well documented by Jonathan Edwards here. That patronage stills seems to be the order of the day for the Labour Party in Wales and its time it came to an end.

Of course Russell Roberts may lose some of its positions after the May elections. But this would be more likely because there are more Labour led councils and the "Jobs" may have to spread out out. 


  1. Of course former Plaid leader at RCT, Pauline Jarman, never did one than one job at a time, did she?

  2. Shmbo:

    You may well be right but I don't think it was a lucrative as the above

  3. so its the price and not the principle that you object to?

  4. I think you are being a bit unfair on me here . Obviously any Council Leader should concentrate on the Job of running the council. There may however be post which are linked to the Council like the Welsh Local Government Association which might be useful for a senior councillor to take a major role and receive some paymentn. My objection to Russell Roberts is actually more to do with the quantity of other jobs he has. I don't expect anyone to work for nothing.