�100,000 payday for new Barnet mayor
Katie Davies BARNET'S newly-appointed mayor, Brian Coleman, is surviving the credit crunch on a staggering salary of more than �100,000 of taxpayers money. Conservative Cllr Coleman, also a London Assembly Member, was appointed to lead the borough on T
BARNET'S newly-appointed mayor, Brian Coleman, is surviving the credit crunch on a staggering salary of more than �100,000 of taxpayers' money.
Conservative Cllr Coleman, also a London Assembly Member, was appointed to lead the borough on Tuesday night.
It comes amid criticism of Cllr Coleman, who claimed �2,275 in travel expenses for eight months in his role as chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority - nearly twice that of all his authority colleagues put together.
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The Ham&High can also reveal the politician's other travel claims, added to his two public pay packets, meaning he is pocketing a six-figure salary courtesy of the public purse.
Lib Dem council leader, Jack Cohen, has called for Cllr Coleman's coffers to be controlled.
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"This just demonstrates how out of hand councillors and GLA allowances are," he said.
"I am not against people being paid a decent amount for doing a job but it is wrong that some people are able to claim one, two or three different lots of expenses from their different public roles. It needs to be capped."
Cllr Coleman splits his time between Hendon Town Hall and City Hall in his political life. He earns �9,735 as a basic allowance from Barnet and is given �359 for travel each year.
This is topped up with �17,036 because he is Barnet's cabinet member for community safety. As mayor he will have to leave this position, but will get a mayoral allowance of �16,400 instead.
On the Assembly, he is paid �50,882 and receives �25,612.50 for his role on the fire authority.
Prior to his travel charges to the fire authority, Cllr Coleman got in hot water for claiming �18,000 over two years in travel from the London Assembly. From April 2006 to April 2007 he claimed �10,000 in taxi receipts when the Assembly average was just �845.
At that time London Mayor Ken Livingstone said that "rather than swanning around London in a chauffeur-driven car, Mr Coleman should try cutting down on the receptions, lunches and dinners and set an example to Londoners by using buses, the Tube, or even walking occasionally."
Cllr Coleman's expense claims are all related to functions he legitimately attended in his Assembly and council roles but critics say he should find a cheaper way to travel and rules should be tightened on how much politicians can earn.
Cllr Coleman said: "Salaries and expenses are fixed by independent committees and frankly they are the rate for the job.