I REFER to the terrible effort of Southall resident, Robin Taylor, to paint me as someone guilty of double standards because I have exposed how it took four years for Alan Keen MP to attempt to justify why he needed a second property funded by taxpayers, while at the same time I have received an allowance in my role as both a ward councillor and deputy leader of the council.
Mr Taylor is wrong for a number of reasons. First, he claims I receive £30,000 for being the deputy leader of the council. All councillors in Hounslow receive a basic allowance of £9,763. The Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) for being deputy leader of the council is £20,000. This alone puts a massive hole in his maths when he claimed that I earn £150,000 a year. Alternatively, what Mr Taylor has done is deliberately misquote me.
In July 2007, when members' allowances were increased in Hounslow, I made it very clear during the debate and subsequently on one of the local forums, that reducing my hours at my place of work by between 20 and 25 per cent would more than absorb the increase in my SRA. This is also clear on my blog, which Mr Taylor says he reads.
As for double standards, I stated in a half-year report to my constituents at the time, that the SRA had been increased and that the increase would not end up in my pocket. Alan Keen MP stated in 2005 that he would explain why he needed taxpayers to fund a second property in order for him to fulfil his role. He only did so in the last few weeks and even Mr Taylor himself has not tried to defend it.
As for "other correspondents" pointing out my SRA to Mr Taylor, would that happen to be P Haling from Southall?
Deputy Leader of the London Borough of Hounslow Helen Avenue, Feltham