COUNCIL leader Sarah Hayward is not shy when it comes to television work. She must have a taste for it after appearing on the local BBC news programmes, live on Sky News and in one of Newsnight‘s debating chairs already this year. Yet you wonder what she must have been thinking when the cameras stopped rolling on her head-to-head with the Tax Payers Alliance’s Robert Oxley last week.
In Channel 5’s neon news disco, the pair, perched on boy band stools, did several rounds of: ‘No, you’re wrong’, ‘no, you’re wrong’. And that was about it. The TPA say Camden pays 40 people more than £100,000 a year. Sarah and Co say it’s actually 16, and they work hard to get it.
Whatever side of the debate you’re on, this bit of television, a rage over what an unseen piece of paper off camera may or may not tell us about Camden’s accounts, gets pretty tetchy and soon the terms have been upgraded to ‘lying’ and ‘frankly ridiculous’.
The two sides have had this argument before and the TPA say Camden could be more helpful with the figures when they ask. The council say it was one of the first local authorities to take action over senior pay and chief executive Mike Cooke gets a lighter pay packet than his predecessor Moira Gibb as result. By the time Channel 5 switched to something else, there was definitely a sense – with the age old ‘who should earn more than the Prime Minister’ debate forever unsettled – of same time next year?
Once is enough, but Fitzrovia News has uploaded the footage for anybody who hasn’t seen it yet.