MEHBOOB Khan is the best paid councillor in West Yorkshire.
New figures show the Kirklees Council leader takes home £68,435 a year for his various public office posts – the equivalent of £1,316 per week.
That’s more than an MP’s salary, as an MP at Westminster picks up a salary of £65,738.
The Greenhead Labour man earns more than any other councillor in Kirklees, Calderdale, Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield.
The next best paid is Bradford Conservative Clr Margaret Eaton on £66,992, followed by Wakefield Labour man Clr Mark Burns-Williamson, who is on £55,083.
Just over half the money paid to Clr Khan comes from Kirklees Council, with the rest paid over by various local and national public bodies on which he serves.
Clr Khan receives a basic allowance of £12,566 from Kirklees in his role as a ward councillor. He represents the Greenhead ward.
He is also paid a special responsibility allowance of £25,155 in his role as council leader.
In May Clr Khan was elected to lead Kirklees Council for four years – and immediately announced he would volunteer for re-election after just 12 months.
The surprise move undermined a Government plan to make Kirklees change the way it is run.
Ministers had forced the council to abandon its old system, where the leader had to be re-elected by fellow councillors every May.
Instead Kirklees was supposed to adopt the “strong leader” system, where one councillor is elected for a four-year term.
Clr Khan is also entitled to claim around £15,000 a year in his role as vice-chairman of the West Yorkshire Fire Authority. He was appointed to that post two months ago.
As well as his role at Kirklees and with the fire authority, Clr Khan serves on several other bodies.
Some of the bodies do not pay anything in allowances.
The bodies in which he has a role are:
Association of West Yorkshire Authorities
Kirklees Partnership Executive
Local Government Association – General Assembly
Mayor of Borough of Kirklees Appeal Fund
West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee
Local Government Yorkshire and Humber
Leeds City Region Leaders’ Board
Councillor Khan said: “The allowances are made up from a number of national and local roles which I hold. In total I receive £37,000 from Kirklees Council – I receive £25,000 for my role as leader of the council and £12,000 as a basic allowance for my role as a councillor. I receive no income from any other employment outside politics.
“The leader’s allowance for Kirklees is the lowest in West Yorkshire. The allowance reflects the complex nature and dedication required from this position.”
“I work seven days a week, clocking between 70 and 80 hours every week and I’m available 24 hours a day.
“I have responsibility for the seventh biggest metropolitan authority in the country with 11,000 staff and an overall budget of more than £1bn.
“My other allowances come from performing roles outside the council with NHS Kirklees, the Local Government Association, the West Yorkshire Fire Authority and The Standards Board for England.”
Kirklees Conservative leader Robert Light receives £45,000 a year. Last night he said: “It’s about half and half between my role with Kirklees and the other bodies I’m involved with, West Yorkshire Fire Authority and the Environment Agency.
“I’m proud of the input I’ve had in both these organisations, particularly helping make the Environment agency more public-friendly.”