PEOPLE’S AUDIT SLAM LAMBETH OVER TEACHER NUMBERS CLAIMS: “If this logic is to be believed then number of senior teachers in the borough has increased to 431 – SEVEN times the original number.”

People’s Audit Lambeth have hit back at claims by a senior Lambeth Labour councillor that figures they gave in their latest report for the number of senior managers in Lambeth are incorrect.

People’s Audit Lambeth say:

1. Lambeth claim that the reason that the increase in staff earning over £50K has increased from 274 in 2006/2007 to 651 in 2016/2017 is due to 400+ teachers now earning a salary over £50,000.

They then state that the number of senior managers within Lambeth has only increased from 212 to 220. If this logic is to be believed then then number of senior teachers in the borough has increased from 62 (274 minus 212) in 2006/2007 to 431 (651 minus 220) in 2016/2017, seven times the original number. Hardly credible is it?

2. You will note that in her e-mail Cllr Imogen Walker states that the increase in senior staff is largely due to teachers earning just below £50,000 receiving a pay rise and therefore moving into the £50,000+ bracket.

You will note that this assertion has been dropped from the posting. I pointed out to her that this was clearly incorrect. In 2005/2006 the number of staff earning £50-60,000 was 142. In 2016/2017 the number of staff earning £50-£55,000 was 227, a difference of 85.

3. You will note that I asked Cllr Walker to provide evidence for her assertions. As usual none was provided.

4. Even if Lambeth’s claims were to be believed that they only have eight additional senior managers, they haven’t explained why they need eight additional managers to manage more than 2,000 less staff.

5. Lambeth haven’t responded to any of the other claims made in our report.

People’s Audit’s Simon Morrow told News From Crystal Palace: “You will note that I have requested meetings on six occasions with Lambeth, all of which have been ignored.”

THE LAMBETH VIEW: (From the council’s official website Love Lambeth): Responding to the recent “People’s Audit” report on senior staff pay at Lambeth Council, Cllr Imogen Walker, deputy cabinet member for finance and resources said:

“The figures quoted by the ‘People’s Audit’ are incorrect.

“The number of Lambeth council staff earning over £50,000 since 2016 has stayed virtually the same, going from 212 in 2007 to around 220 today.

“The figures quoted in their report are made up of pay increases for over 400 teachers employed in schools for whom the council provides the payroll administration.

“The council were not asked for a comment before the publication and has offered this simple clarification since, with a request for a correction.

“The ‘People’s Audit’ have refused to correct the figures and continue to use them without correction.” (Source: Lambeth council’s Love Lambeth website)

UPDATE: In the wake of our story Lambeth council’s press office contacted News From Crystal Palace with the following comment:

“It’s inaccurate to state that Lambeth has ‘ignored’ the ‘People’s Audit’s’ requests for meetings.

“Cllr Imogen Walker has offered to meet with them on at least two occasions but neither invitations has been taken up. “Members of the ‘People’s Audit’ have also met Lambeth council officers on a number of occasions.”

_______________________________________________________________________

THE CORRESPONDENCE

From Cllr Imogen Walker

Sun, Jan 14, 2018

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have been forwarded a copy of the “Lambeth People’s Audit Report on Senior Staff Salaries at Lambeth Council”.

The report is not correct in relation to salaries for staff earning over £50,000. Roughly two thirds of the figure you give is made up of schools staff; the number of Lambeth Council staff earning over £50,000 has increased over a ten year period by a small number, from 212 to around 220. The council also processes payroll as a service for many schools and 430 of the salaries you quote are schools staff. These are obviously not new posts but largely accounted for by the salaries for lead practitioners in schools moving from just below £50,000 to just above over that over the ten year period.

While we do not set teacher’s pay, I fully back our schools’ support of our hard-working teachers and I believe they should be properly remunerated for what is a highly skilled, difficult and important job. We are proud as an administration to have worked closely with our schools and Lambeth has seen the hard work of teachers, parents and pupils rewarded with some of the best results in the country. In terms of the figures stated for head teacher’s pay, these are set by the governing bodies of the respective schools rather than by the council.

This should clarify the position and I trust that you will publish amendments to rectify the errors in the report.

I am not able to identify how you have reached the figure of a £19 million increase in the cost of senior management. However, I am happy to look at it if you will provide the source. The figures for redundancies are publicly available and represent the reality of the council’s need to deal with major government cuts, while protecting front line services as much as possible.

I am keen to hear from residents and happy to work with you in the future if you believe you have identified discrepancies or concerns in the council’s accounts.

Regards, Imogen

Cllr Imogen Walker

Deputy Leader of the Council (Finance)

Vice-President, RSPCA

______________________________________________________________________

From: People’s Audit Lambeth

Thu, Jan 18, 2018

Subject: Re: “Report on Senior Staff Salaries at Lambeth Council”
To: “Walker,Imogen Cllr” <IWalker@lambeth.gov.uk>

Dear Cllr Walker,

I acknowledge receipt of your e-mail dated 14th January 2017.

Even a cursory review of the data reveals that your assertion that the increase in staff numbers is due to teachers on just below £50K moving to just above £50K is incorrect. We will therefore not publish amendments as the information you have provided to us is incorrect. We would be willing to review if evidenced correct data was provided.

With regards to the £19M figure, this can easily be calculated from the data within Lambeth’s accounts, so I am unclear why you are unable to work this out.

I note the final sentence of your e-mail. The sentiments of this are clearly untrue. As the council has now ignored 6 requests for a meeting, including my e-mail to you dated 12th October 2017 which you never responded to, we will be waiting until a new chief executive is in place and arranging a meeting with him. It is telling that it has been easier to meet the chair of the Public Accounts Committee and a minister from DCLG at parliament than it has been to meet anyone from Lambeth council.

Yours faithfully, Simon Morrow Director-Lambeth Peoples Audit

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