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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Baroness Ritchie and £120,000 a year allowances

It is with sincere sadness that we have heard that Shireen Ritchie is unwell. And no one, least of all this blog, likes to kick someone when they are down. But our clear policy is to alert resident taxpayers to ways in which their money is spent. It is for this reason alone that we have to dwell upon councillor allowances: after all, times are tough for all of us and how our money is spent is of paramount importance.
We have heard that Baroness Ritchie has just stepped down as Chair of Local Government Children and Young People Programme Board. This is a sub committee of the LGA, which Merrick Cockell chairs. 
With some surprise we learnt that this post attracted an allowance of £15,500 per annum with expenses bringing it to £18,000 a year
In addition Shireen Ritchie is a Cabinet member of RBK&C. For this she receives some £55,000 a year, including expenses. Finally, she sits in the House of Lords for which she is entitled to claim a maximum, with expenses, of nearly £47,000 per annum.
We are not going to dwell upon her qualifications for these positions but the clear fact remains that she has gross allowances of close to £120,000 a year.
We wish Baroness Ritchie a speedy return to good health but we do counsel her to take leave of absence from the Cabinet whilst she is recovering.


  1. Whilst those of us know of her illness are very sad for her the fact remains that she is now one of the highest remunerated of UK councillors for holding down a multiplicity of 'jobs'. If the figures quoted by Hornet are correct then surely it goes against all the Pickles's preachings. She really needs to step down from her Cabinet role

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. This is somthing that Cockle should have dealt with, but he can't even manage to do that.

  4. This is an extremely difficult and sensitive subject at a particularly difficult time. The reality is that the question of Councillor Ritchie’s remuneration has been an embarrassment for some time. No one understands why she has received a special responsibility allowance higher than almost any other member of the K&C Cabinet. It was clear that she always struggled with the job and relied on the patience and support of Council officers and other members of the Cabinet to get her through. In the nicest possible way, she never quite grasped what was going on and floundered if asked questions about the work of her business group. As always when someone is unwell, everyone tries not to raise a difficult subject , but the reality is that she should have left the Cabinet long ago, and now would be a good time to go with dignity. The Leader is not exactly covered with glory about the whole business either.

  5. £120k a year from the public purse. This is twice what we pay MP's.

    Its a rip off - the woman has no managerial or financial responsibility. She merely benefits from Cockell's patronage.

  6. Let me try again, and this time control my anger.

    Cllr Ritchie is an ex member of the Grand Met typing pool who got to the House of Lords via the Liberal Party (she jumped ship) and the Conservative benches in Hornton Street. Like her sponsor, Merrick Cockell, she has no qualifications.

    It is awful that people like her are allowed to fawn their way into milking the public purse in this most scandalous fashion

  7. Snout in the trough.....

  8. You hit the button, 10.30

  9. Dont forget to add "Shrill's" Old Age Pension to the £120k. Thats another £10k

    And the inflation proof, final salary pension scheme from Kensington and Chelsea.

    Money for old rope.......

  10. Its all part of the house that Cockell built in Hornton Street - time for Leadership change

    When will the Conservative Group of councillors find their balls?? The Dame has given you all the reasons you need.

  11. For many years, Cllr Ritchie has been Cockell's sponsor in Conservative Central Office.

    The Lady has her price

  12. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear

    All very sad

  13. Rodent Control Officer20 September 2011 at 17:34

    Its not "sad", 15.36

    "Smelly" is a more accurate description

  14. "smelly" is off message,17.34

    Putrid is the word

  15. Not sure if this link came through, the Baroness Ritchie was aware of all mentioned within


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