Councillor who failed to declare city role set to lose £40k salary

A SENIOR councillor who failed to declare details of a post that has earned him up to £400,000 is to have his funding cut by the city council.

Labour councillor Ian Perry is being investigated by the Standards Commission for not registering his employment with the little-known Wester Hailes Education and Training Managers Group. Now Cllr Perry is also set to lose the funding for his 40,000-a-year post, which he has held for ten years.

The council's children and families department has been funding Mr Perry's post via Stevenson College, from where he is seconded.

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A separate part-time post, administrative support and funding for vocational projects will also be cut, saving the local authority around 70,000 a year.

A report to go before councillors on February 21 states that WHETMG is the only such organisation in the whole of the city that receives similar funding.

It reads: "Wester Hailes is the only area in Edinburgh to receive funding for this purpose on this scale. While the project has initiated valuable partnership approaches to supporting back to work and training and education programmes, much of this work is now embedded into the partner's programmes."

And though the council won't reveal if the funding cut is linked to the revelations about Cllr Perry, sources said senior Lib Dem councillors were furious when they discovered he was taking a 40,000 annual salary from council coffers and acted immediately.

A council source said: "When this all came to light they were flabbergasted that the council had been paying out this money for so long, that's why it is coming up at the budget meeting."

Cllr Perry, a representative for Southside/Newington and Labour's finance spokesman, had stated on his register of interests that he was a lecturer at Stevenson College, although information obtained by the Evening News under the Freedom of Information Act showed that he hadn't worked there since 1998.

When the story came to light last month, he said the omission had simply been an oversight and vowed to co-operate fully with the investigation.

Pentlands Conservative councillor Alastair Paisley, who filed the original complaint, said: "I am shocked and appalled that this should go on for so long without anyone noticing. Somebody, somewhere must have realised this was going on."

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A city council spokeswoman said: "This consultation with staff and stakeholders is part of a wider budget-setting process. All comments from the consultation will be reported to the council in February. It is important to stress that nothing has been decided yet and all views gathered will be taken into account.

"This review process is not just about saving money – it is about making a very valued service even better."

Last night, Cllr Perry declined to comment.

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