Quangos spent £414m in one town
Tuesday 28 February 1995
It shows non-elected public-service bodies running health, housing, education and leisure spend £414.59m a year without public accountability. The figures cover the last full accounts available, for the financial year ended March 1994.
National quango spending was estimated at £46bn last year in a report for Demos, a think-tank. The Milton Keynes report, which lists members, salaries, addresses and details of meetings of 12 quangos, was compiled by the Liberal Democrats.
One housing association has no tenants on its board, while a family health authority refused to confirm its chairwoman's salary. Her predecessor earned £11,720 for two days work a week.
Health, which used to be partly run by elected councillors, takes the biggest slice of the cake: Buckinghamshire Health Authority and Buckinghamshire Family Health Authority, which will merge next year, spent £292m between them. The Two Shires Ambulance Trust spent £10.3m. Members of these quangos are appointed by the Secretary of State for Health "for the personal contribution they can make". Non-executive members are paid up to £5,000 a year and the chairman gets between £10,000 and £20,000 a year for a notional two days a week. Some meetings are open to the public.
Only the largest of several housing associations is listed, the Milton Keynes Housing Association, which spent £5.2m. Members are not paid, except representatives from the council, who are entitled to claim £20.50 per meeting plus travelling expenses. There is no right of access to meetings or information, but annual accounts have to be submitted to the Housing Corporation, a national quango. The Milton Keynes Parks Trust, not strictly a quango, is a charity which spends £2.4m a year on open spaces. Meetings are held in private, although it does include board members nominated by local councils.
Milton Keynes, which until 1992 was partly administered, like other new towns, by a development corporation, still has a local office of the Commission for New Towns. This central government agency responsible for disposing of corporation assets has 13 directors, mostly paid between £5,000 and £10,000 a year, but one is paid between £45,000 and £50,000. It is accountable to Parliament through the Department of the Environment, and its local office had receipts of £34m last year.
The list includes four grant-maintained schools, which each spend between £2m and £4m a year. The governors are unpaid and normally meet in private but publish minutes of non-controversial parts of meetings. Parents are on the boards of governors.
- 1 JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 4 Georgia Army veteran arrested for breaking window to save dog has charges dropped
- 5 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
Evany José Metzker dead: Decapitated body of Brazilian journalist and blogger investigating child prostitution ring found
Georgia Army veteran arrested for breaking window to save dog has charges dropped
Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: B2B Marketing Manager (Events, Digit...