FOI request 29th January 2012: Members Pension Contributions 2010/11
CWaC response: Cheshire West and Chester Council contributed £124,080.40 to the pensions of 39 Councillors.
Cautionary note: I don't know when any of the 39 Councillors actually joined the scheme. Some may have already been on the scheme whilst others may have joined nearer the end of the year.
However, what is certain is that by the end of 2010/11, 39 Councillors were on the taxpayer funded pension bandwagon. 54% of all Cheshire West and Chester Councillors.
I recently decided to submit another FOI request to see what the situation was at the end of 2011/12.
FOI request 12th September 2012: Members Pension Contributions 2011/12
CWaC response: Cheshire West and Chester Council contributed £149,000.00 to the pensions of 63 Councillors.
Cautionary note: I don't know when any of the additional 24 Councillors actually joined the scheme. Some may have joined at the beginning of the year whilst others may have joined nearer the end of the year.
However, what is certain is that by the end of 2011/12, 63 Councillors were on the taxpayer funded pension bandwagon.
The CWaC website states there are still 72 Councillors.
That means that 87.5% of all Cheshire West and Chester Councillors were, at the end of 2011/12, on the taxpayer funded pensions bandwagon.
This is what the Taxpayer's Alliance had to say on the subject in a report dated 25 January 2012
The purpose of a councillor is to represent the people of a local ward in their council. They
are elected to bring their expertise and experience to address the specific needs of their
These duties are meant to be separate from their private and professional lives outside the council and their position is voluntary. Any payments they receive are not intended to represent earnings but instead to compensate them for incidental expenses incurred in fulfilling their duties in local government such as the use of their phones, transportation and office expenses.
As these payments are described as reimbursements, the fact that many local authorities consider them to be pensionable pay calls into question the voluntary nature of participating in local government.
Many councils do not give councillors the opportunity to join the LGPS, maintaining the
tradition of volunteerism, but in many others a large number of councillors are enrolled in
the scheme. The number of councillors enrolled has grown by more than 1,000 since
2007-08. This growth suggests that more councillors are becoming professional politicians.
Read the Taxpayer's Alliance report here