Row erupts over KWL payments to Hull councillors
MOVES allowing politicians to be paid for sitting on the board of a council-owned building firm are being questioned.
Construction company KWL is wholly owned by Hull City Council.
As a result, all eight of its directors are also city councillors.
When it was formed in 2006, it was agreed that directors should not receive any remuneration for their positions.
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However, it was subsequently confirmed that there was a provision within an agreement between the council and the firm for its directors to be paid.
Since then, it is thought some have been paid £5,000 a year.
No details of current individual payouts are available because the firm operates as a private company limited by guarantee.
However, the Mail understands most of the current board choose not to receive any payment.
Now, opposition Liberal Democrats at the Guildhall are set to raise the issue at Thursday's full council meeting.
They have seized on a recently published minute of a cabinet sub-committee overseeing the council's shareholding interest in KWL.
It records the sub-committee's Labour chairman Councillor Phil Webster as specifically requesting an amendment to the agreement with KWL confirming the move allowing directors to be paid.
Lib Dem councillor Eliza Mann, who is moving the motion, said: "This is not about the service being provided by KWL.
"As a group, we support the company and want to see it succeed.
"I am, however, very concerned about any move that would see councillors awarding themselves more money while, at the same time, the Labour administration is cutting jobs and services.
"It is simply unacceptable.
"Councillors should not be giving themselves more money like this.
"I urge senior Labour councillors to change their position and block any move that would see the directors getting remuneration."
But Cllr Webster, who does not sit on the KWL board, said he was simply trying to clarify the rules surrounding remuneration for directors.
He said: "I can't believe the Liberal Democrats are trying to make an issue out of this when one of their own councillors was quite happy to receive £25,000-a-year as a director on Kingston Communications.
"Any decisions on remuneration are up to the KWL board and the individuals concerned, not the council."