How much control do the unions have over Telford & Wrekin Council?

With the subject of trades unions buying control of the Labour Party in the news (fraudulently in some cases, it would appear) we thought we’d check out the register of interests at Telford & Wrekin Council to see how many borough councillors are sponsored by unions and political parties.

Union Pipers call Labour's tuneIt came as no surprise to learn that Telford & Wrekin Council is led by union-sponsored councillors and the extent of their patronage is such that only three out of nine committees are free of union-sponsored councillors whilst Deputy Leader, Cllr Richard Overton and the man behind the throne, Cllr Shaun Davies, are each sponsored by two political parties and two unions.  Eight of the eleven union-sponsored Labour councillors are sponsored by the GMB union.

Although Labour councillors are by far the most heavily indebted to their union and party sponsors, the Conservatives and Lib Dems aren’t averse to a bit of sponsorship themselves.  One Conservative councillor is sponsored by the Conservative Party whilst all three Lib Dem councillors are sponsored by their party.

Here is a summary of our findings:

  • Only the Appeals committee not controlled by Labour or union sponsored councillor (ie. sponsored Chair or Vice Chair).
  • Chair of Cabinet, Standards and Personnel sponsored by GMB; Chair of Audit, Boundary and Licensing sponsored by Labour Party.
  • Vice Chair of Cabinet, Standards, Personnel and Audit sponsored by GMB, Unite or Unison; Vice Chair of Constitution and Planning sponsored by Labour Party.
  • 7 out of 9 Cabinet members sponsored by Labour Party, Co-operative Party or union: GMB sponsor 5, Unite sponsor 1, Unison sponsor 1, Labour sponsor 5, Co-operative Party sponsor 3.
  • 2 out of 7 members of Standards sponsored by Labour Party, Co-operative Party or union: GMB sponsor 2, Unison sponsor 1, Labour sponsor 1, Co-operative Party sponsor 1. Vice Chair sponsored by all four.
  • 1 out of 7 members of Constitution committee sponsored by Labour Party.
  • 2 out of 6 members of Personnel sponsored by Labour Party, Co-operative Party or union: GMB sponsor 2, Unite sponsor 1, Labour sponsor 1, Co-operative Party sponsor 1. Vice Chair sponsored by all four.
  • 1 out of 7 members of Appeals sponsored by Lib Dem Party.
  • 5 out of 7 members of Audit sponsored by Labour Party, Lib Dem Party or union: Labour sponsor 2, Lib Dem sponsor 1, Unite sponsor 2.
  • 4 out of 7 members of Boundary sponsored by Labour Party, Co-operative Party, Lib Dem Party or union: Labour sponsor 3, Co-op Party sponsor 2, Lib Dem Party sponsor 1, GMB sponsor 2, Unison sponsor 1, Unite sponsor 1.
  • 5 out of 13 members of Licensing sponsored by Labour Party, Lib Dem Party or union: Labour sponsor 2, Lib Dem Party sponsor 1, GMB sponsor 1.
  • 2 out of 9 members of Planning sponsored by Labour Party.
  • 18 of 33 Labour councillors sponsored by Labour Party, Co-operative Party or union: Labour sponsor 12, Co-operative Party sponsor 4, GMB sponsor 7, Unison sponsor 1, Unite sponsor 1, USDAW sponsor 1.
  • All 3 Lib Dem councillors sponsored by the Lib Dems.
  • 1 Conservative councillor sponsored by Conservative Party.
  • 22 of 54 councillors are sponsored by their party or unions.
  • 2 Labour councillors are sponsored by 2 parties and 2 unions each.

There is an old saying “he who pays the piper calls the tune”. The leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, wasn’t put into that position by the members of the Labour Party, he was put there with the trade union block vote and the unions have been calling the shots ever since. Trade unions are involved in a number of Telford & Wrekin Council initiatives, including having a place at the table on the Co-operative Council steering group which sets the council’s overarching co-operative council strategy. Union activists actively campaign for Labour Party candidates during elections, allegedly using council facilities to do so. What do the unions get in return for their money?

UKIP in general, and Telford & Wrekin Branch in particular, are absolutely committed to workers’ rights such as those workers at the Ford Transit plant in Southampton who were recently made redundant because the EU have paid Ford to move production from England to Turkey or the workers at RAF Cosford who lost their jobs after the Welsh Government funded a “super hanger” at RAF St Athan that enabled them to take work away from Cosford. The idea behind trades unions is a sound one but we have little time for the big unions that are concentrating their resources on trying to take over the running of the country instead of helping their members.

Posted in Telford News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*