The dubious honour of being named Retiree of the Year in Private Eye's Rotten Boroughs Awards 2010 has gone to Nick Johnson, Tory H&F council's interim Housing Director and head of their housing management subsidiary, H&F Homes.
The citation explains that Mr Johnson "retired as chief exec of the London borough of Bexley on grounds of ill health in 2007, aged 54, comforted by a £50,000 pension – to which he was entitled immediately on the understanding that he was too sick to work in local government again. In June 2010 he admitted he had been working full time for Hammersmith & Fulham council and its housing management provider, H&F Homes. He was paid £528,000 from these sources between 2008 and 2010."
Last year alone, H&F council paid Mr Johnson £261,000. Meanwhile, they are planning to spend £600,000 on making 50 Sure Start centre staff redundant (see this internal council paper, para 3.8.2). So for one Mr Johnson, you could get 22 Sure Start workers. Presumably that's what the council means when it talks about value for money.
To read a Mail on Sunday exposé of Mr Johnson and wonder at the council's reluctance to come clean about what they pay him, see Labour group leader Steve Cowan's story here.
And please come along to the Save Sure Start rally at 6pm on Monday 10 January outside Hammersmith Town Hall.