SNP - Taking Us All For Fools

A timely reminder from the blog archive that senior SNP politicians see nothing wrong in a full-time SNP council leader having another significant job acting as the Office Manager for Keith Brown, the SNP MSP and Scotland's justice minister.

Introducing Some of Scotland's 'Low Paid' Councillors (2)

Hot on the heels of Glasgow's Mhairi Hunter comes Cllr Ellen Forson who retained her seat in last week's council elections.

Cllr Forson served as the SNP Leader of Clackmannanshire Council (up to the elections) - a full-time job which attracts a salary of around £30,000 a year.

Incredibly, Cllr Forson had another job as Office Manager for the local SNP MSP, Keith Brown, who also happens to be Scotland's justice minister.

Again I reckon Cllr Forson's earnings must have been around £45,000 to £50,000 a year from these two jobs - perhaps even more.

And again the two SNP politicians have refused to confirm the time commitment and cost of the MSP's Branch Manager job - despite their public support for open and transparent government. 


SNP - Scandal Over Councillors Pay (April 26, 2022)

Glasgow is the largest council in Scotland while Clackmannanshire is the smallest council on the Scottish mainland.

As well as being SNP led these two councils have a cavalier approach to public money and councillors pay.

In Clackmannanshire the SNP leader of the local council doubles up as the Office Manager of the local SNP MSP, Keith Brown who is also Scotland's justice minister.

The jobs of council leaders across Scotland are classified as full-time jobs and paid accordingly.

So how does the SNP justice minister justify and explain this arrangement? 

The answer is he doesn't, of course, nor does the Council Leader, Cllr Ellen Forson, and both seem to be taking a 'no comment' leaf out of Nicola Sturgeon's book in Glasgow -  where a similar scam involving public money is in operation.

As regular readers know, Nicola Sturgeon employs her friend Cllr Mhairi Hunter as an Office Assistant despite the fact that Cllr Hunter has a full-time job with Glasgow City Council and another 1 day a week commitment with the NHS.

Now this stinks to high heaven if you ask me because the independence of local councillors has to be badly compromised if they depend on a friendly SNP MSP (and Scottish Minister) for a significant part of their income.

Covid, Councils and Competing Demands (April 02, 2022)

Keith Brown, the SNP MSP and Scotland's justice minister, is isolating after testing positive for Covid.

In his absence Keith's Office Manager, Cllr Ellen Forson, will no doubt step up to the plate while continuing in her day job as SNP Leader of Clackmannanshire Council - a post held previously by Keith, if I remember correctly.

Are they having a laugh?  


It's A Fair Question, Keith! (February 28, 2022)

I think we should be told how the SNP Leader of Clackmannanshire Council manages her council job which is paid a full-time salary - while also drawing another public salary as Office Manager for Keith Brown, the SNP MSP and Scotland's justice minister.
SNP - Taking Us All For Fools (February 26, 2022)
A reminder of the bizarre goings on in Clackmannanshire where the Leader of Clackmannanshire Council (Cllr Ellen Forson) has also been enjoying employment as the Office Manager for Keith Brown - SNP MSP and Scotland's justice minister.
SNP - Taking Us All For Fools (January 17, 2022)

Clackmannanshire may be Scotland's smallest mainland council, but it's up there with Glasgow as an example of how to bring local government and local democracy into disrepute.

The role of council leader is designated as a full-time job, but incredibly the SNP leader of Clackmannanshire Council, Cllr Ellen Forson, also acts as the Office Manager to the local SNP MSP - Keith Brown who also happens to be the Scottish Government's justice minister. 

So we now have three senior Scottish Ministers (Nicola Sturgeon, Humza Yousaf and Keith Brown) all using public money to employ local SNP councillors in their local constituency offices.

Despite the fact that their employees were also carrying out full-time roles and being paid full-time salaries for their respective councils.

Now if something walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I tend to call it a duck and in this case all the evidence says that SNP MSPs have been misusing public money, as part of a well organised racket, to employ friends and political allies.

The SNP has also conveniently abolished the independent watchdog SLARC (Scottish Local Authorities Remuneration Committee) which worked with Scotland's councils and provided Scottish Ministers with independent advice on councillors' pay and expenses. 

Here's a letter I've sent to the Leader of Clackmannanshire Council which refers to the Nolan principles on standards in public life. 

Dear Cllr Forson

Clackmannanshire Council - Senior Councillors' Salary Scheme 

I refer to Clackmannanshire Council's register of interests and the section dealing with Remuneration in which you declare a second paid role as Office Manager for Keith Brown, the SNP MSP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane.

As you may know, I have raised the issue of how public money is being used/misused in Clackmannanshire Council with Scottish Ministers, as I cannot see how an elected councillor with a full-time commitment can hold down a second paid job which makes significant demands on their time. 

The salary scales for councillors in Scotland are laid down by a national scheme and senior councillor roles are designated as full-time because of their additional responsibilities. The scheme covers variety of positions in Clackmannanshire Council, including your own as Council Leader, which I understand was paid a salary of £29,760 (plus expenses) in 2020/21.

I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions about your elected member role and your second job in Keith Brown's constituency office:

1) What is the nature of your role in Keith Brown's office?

2) What time commitment is involved over a typical day, week and month - and when was this time commitment last reviewed and/or changed?

3) When were you appointed

to the post of Office Manager?

4) What hourly rate or salary scale applied to the post of Office Manager?

5) Given that your position as council convener role is designated as a full-time role and paid accordingly, can you explain how you were able to perform effectively in these two jobs at the same time?   
I realise I am not one of your local constituents, but as these matters relate to your role as Council Leader I am sure you agree that the issues I am raising with you are legitimate and fair, as they relate to the use of public money and the Nolan principles regarding standards in public life. 

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards

Mark Irvine 

Popular posts from this blog

The Hunt Is On!

SNP - Conspiracy of Silence

Not As Nice As She Looks