Bexley councillor Gareth Bacon has defended his role as London's highest paid councillor after it was reported he earns £108,000 a year from his four local government positions.

Residents have criticised his "lavish salary" including one charity worker who fears her project will shut down due to Bexley Council cuts. 

Michelle Hutchinson is secretary of Bexley Kickstart Motor Project at the Sidcup Youth Centre in Burnt Oak Lane and told News Shopper she is frustrated by how much Coun Bacon earns.

She said: "I cannot express how disappointed I feel.

"At the Sidcup Youth Centre we are at constant threat of closing due to Bexley Council's budget cuts.

"The people who work there give up a lot of their time to help the young adults who attend. 

"They are not privy to such a lavish salary. 

"I have worked and resided in the borough for 27 years and I know where my money should be going."

Coun Bacon defended his reported salary to the Evening Standard last Wednesday (Feb 25) after London Mayor Boris Johnson appointed him as chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority earlier this month.

The father-of-one also sits on the London Assembly and is a cabinet member for finance and corporate services at Bexley Council, as well as being deputy leader.

Brian Barnett, 56, also disagrees with Coun Bacon's four jobs.


The Wolvercote Road resident said: "I think it's totally wrong.

"One person should one job. If you're a councillor, you can't be sitting on all committees as well." 

Coun Bacon told the Standard: "In 2008 I wasn’t expected to be elected (to the Assembly) and didn’t think I’d serve more than four years, so I maintained my commercial concerns at that time.

"With good diary management I was able to devote enough time to each of them."

He added he would give up his deputy leadership role and his cabinet position at Bexley if he struggles to manage everything.

News Shopper contacted Coun Bacon for a comment.

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