Mayor of Harrow overspends budget

Harrow Times: Mayor of Harrow Borough Council, Councillor Nana Asante. Photograph (c) Debbie Dye Mayor of Harrow Borough Council, Councillor Nana Asante. Photograph (c) Debbie Dye

The budget for the Mayor of Harrow for the financial year has been overspent by nearly £45,000.

The figures for Mayor of Harrow Borough Council, Councillor Nana Asante's year in office were revealed in a council meeting showing she had overspent by £44,586.

Every year the mayor is given a budget to pay for functions they host, support staff, travel expenses and sustenance.

For the last financial year the Mayor was given a budget of £182,740, but spent a total of £227,326.

Leader of the Harrow Labour Group David Perry said: "It is disgraceful that at a time when residents are being hit hard by the cuts and cost of living crisis the Mayor of Harrow Council has been allowed to heavily overspend her office budget by £45,000.

“It is unfair that the taxpayer will have to pay for this overspend.

"To make matters worse the Tory leader of the council is turning a blind eye, as a result of the back room deal Susan Hall made with the Independent Group in return for their support for the Conservatives taking control of Harrow Council.”

Cabinet member for resources Cllr Paul Osborn said the overspend was contained within the council’s resources budget.

He said for the year the budget was projected to underspend by £437,000.

Cllr Osborn said: "How actively the Mayor engages with Harrow's diverse communities has a significant impact on the budget, and this year the Mayor has attended 456 engagements.

“Therefore, the Mayor's budget is a difficult one to set; the previous Labour administration increased it by £20,000 one year, then cut it by £20,000 the following year.

"The cut to the Mayor’s Office budget makes this year's overspend seem more significant than past years.

“Mayoral overspends have occurred under all parties including overspends of £22,000 in 2009-10 and £19,000 in 2012-13.

“I find it interesting that Labour only seem to care about any overspend when the Mayor isn't one of their own members.”

Comments (9)

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5:30pm Wed 30 Apr 14

Husain Akhtar says...

Yet another example of the cosy relationships between the breakaway Independent Labour Group, including the mayor, and the Tory group leadership for mutual political gains!

Yesterday, it was reported that the elected mayor-style minority Tory administration turned a blind eye to the ILG overspend (29K)!

Worrying that the council let these overspent develop which remained undetected and unreported so far.

Very bad news for the residents indeed!
Yet another example of the cosy relationships between the breakaway Independent Labour Group, including the mayor, and the Tory group leadership for mutual political gains! Yesterday, it was reported that the elected mayor-style minority Tory administration turned a blind eye to the ILG overspend (29K)! Worrying that the council let these overspent develop which remained undetected and unreported so far. Very bad news for the residents indeed! Husain Akhtar
  • Score: -6

12:00am Thu 1 May 14

SeaBee says...

Labour or Independent Labour, they all love spending other people's money.
Labour or Independent Labour, they all love spending other people's money. SeaBee
  • Score: 14

8:17am Thu 1 May 14

barnsywarnsy says...

it,s the same old story it,s not their money so why worry, the same way they waste it on ridiculous highway projects like pretty little paving areas, cycle lanes nobody uses, extended kerbs protruding out into the road, speed humps on roads where you're lucky to even be able to do 15 miles an hour anyway, painting arrows on roads at roundabouts overruling the highway code for lane discipline and just confusing motorists and making it more dangerous etc etc.. its a pity they can't do the things that need doing like all the dangerous potholes that have been there for years.. its about time they got out of their cosy little offices and had a look around the borough and see what is actually happening !!!! p. barnes
it,s the same old story it,s not their money so why worry, the same way they waste it on ridiculous highway projects like pretty little paving areas, cycle lanes nobody uses, extended kerbs protruding out into the road, speed humps on roads where you're lucky to even be able to do 15 miles an hour anyway, painting arrows on roads at roundabouts overruling the highway code for lane discipline and just confusing motorists and making it more dangerous etc etc.. its a pity they can't do the things that need doing like all the dangerous potholes that have been there for years.. its about time they got out of their cosy little offices and had a look around the borough and see what is actually happening !!!! p. barnes barnsywarnsy
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Thu 1 May 14

Ama Butler says...

Surprise, surprise, negative comments about the Mayor close to local elections.
Professional journalism will try to establish why there have been Mayoral overspends under all parties. Is there a problem with the way the budget is set? What does the budget overspend cover? Is it staff? Is
the Mayoral budget realistic, and can the Mayoralty efficiently function with the budget that is set?
If the main cost is staff salaries, is the Leader of the Labour Group suggesting that hardworking s
taff should be made redundant during a recession?
It is more important to get the facts than to personalise matters.
Surprise, surprise, negative comments about the Mayor close to local elections. Professional journalism will try to establish why there have been Mayoral overspends under all parties. Is there a problem with the way the budget is set? What does the budget overspend cover? Is it staff? Is the Mayoral budget realistic, and can the Mayoralty efficiently function with the budget that is set? If the main cost is staff salaries, is the Leader of the Labour Group suggesting that hardworking s taff should be made redundant during a recession? It is more important to get the facts than to personalise matters. Ama Butler
  • Score: 1

2:45pm Thu 1 May 14

charrow says...

disgusting waste of money. all the parties have no sense of keeping a tight control on money. they should be forced to find savings from next years mayoral budget
disgusting waste of money. all the parties have no sense of keeping a tight control on money. they should be forced to find savings from next years mayoral budget charrow
  • Score: 1

5:05pm Thu 1 May 14

charrow says...

ama butler, what really is the need for a mayors office in this day and age. I can think of so many better things to spend the money on. even the £45k overspend could be 2 learning assistants, or 1.5 youth workers for a year...this is why people are disenchanted with politics...politicia
ns running around acting as if they mean something...pointles
s poisiton and pointless use of money
ama butler, what really is the need for a mayors office in this day and age. I can think of so many better things to spend the money on. even the £45k overspend could be 2 learning assistants, or 1.5 youth workers for a year...this is why people are disenchanted with politics...politicia ns running around acting as if they mean something...pointles s poisiton and pointless use of money charrow
  • Score: 5

6:31pm Thu 1 May 14

Ama Butler says...

That might well be your view, but there are other views. If the community did not value the position of Mayor, I doubt if the Mayor would receive so many invitations. It might be useful to find out with an open mind what the Mayor does in addition to Mayoral engagements, and chairing council meetings.
That might well be your view, but there are other views. If the community did not value the position of Mayor, I doubt if the Mayor would receive so many invitations. It might be useful to find out with an open mind what the Mayor does in addition to Mayoral engagements, and chairing council meetings. Ama Butler
  • Score: -2

10:37am Fri 2 May 14

charrow says...

i know precisely what the mayors office does having worked at the council before. i cant see how that amount of money can be justified on a position for cutting ribbons, toasting occasions etc. they do all raise money for charity but this could be done in a number of other ways again
i know precisely what the mayors office does having worked at the council before. i cant see how that amount of money can be justified on a position for cutting ribbons, toasting occasions etc. they do all raise money for charity but this could be done in a number of other ways again charrow
  • Score: 4

6:59am Sun 4 May 14

rabbitz says...

Scrap the mayor give the money to the needy, we have poor going without while this idiot rides around with a chauffeur Harrow would be promoting a better image by this
Scrap the mayor give the money to the needy, we have poor going without while this idiot rides around with a chauffeur Harrow would be promoting a better image by this rabbitz
  • Score: 4

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