Agenda item

Proposals for Members’ Scheme of Allowances 2019/20

To consider the proposals for the Members’ Scheme of Allowances 2019/20.


Steph Grace, the Chairman of the Independent Remuneration Panel introduced the Panel’s report on a review of the Members’ Scheme of Allowances and recommendations for 2019/20.  She thanked officers for their support and said the Panel had adopted the principles that allowances and expenses should be reasonable, equitable and economical.  She described the main recommendations in the report and the reasons for them.  She referred to the discussions with those Members who had attended before the Panel to give their views and the need for Members to receive training and support in use of the Council’s electronic payment system.  She said whilst a suggestion from Councillor Artus regarding a review of the work arising from appointments to outside bodies could not be addressed this year due to time constraints, it would be included in next year’s review. She concluded by saying the participation of councillors was central to the Council’s work, and she urged councillors to use their scheme of allowances well.


Councillor Rolfe proposed the recommendations.  He thanked all members of the Panel for their work in reviewing the scheme of allowances, and said he respected the view of what was an independent body.  The Panel had recommended the basic allowance to be increased by 1%, which was below inflation and less than the increase for officers, and said that the basic allowance must not diverge from the rate of inflation.


Councillor Chambers seconded the recommendations. 


Councillor R Freeman said money was almost an irrelevance to the role of a councillor.  He objected to the statement in the report that an attendance allowance would be impractical, which seemed to indicate an attitude of lacking the motivation to set up such an allowance.  He did not claim expenses, as he found the software system irksome. 


Councillor Gerard thanked the Panel for listening to his views last year and this year, regarding recognition for the hard work of Substitute Members of Planning Committee. 


Councillor Morris said she would, as she had done for the past three years, vote against the recommendations, because she did not agree with councillors giving themselves a pay rise in the context of climate change and austerity. 


Councillor Lees agreed with that view, whilst acknowledging that Members worked hard.


Councillor Redfern said this report was a good piece of work.  She said elected representatives in this area tended to be from an older demographic.  Being a councillor cost money, and whilst most current Members were fortunate, not everyone was able to afford considering taking on this role.  It was important that the basic allowance did not become out of kilter with the rate of inflation or staff pay awards, so as not to deter potential members of the Council. 


The recommendations were carried by 26 in favour, 4 against and 1 abstention.



                        RESOLVED that the Council adopts:


a. the recommended scheme of allowances for the year 2019/20 as set

out in Appendix 1 to the report, effectively increasing the current level of

basic allowance and all existing special responsibility allowances

(SRAs) by 1%.


b. an additional SRA for Planning Committee substitute members who

attend at least 25% of Planning Committee meetings in that capacity

throughout the municipal year.


c. a revised scheme of expenses for the Carer’s Allowance which

abolishes the maximum rate that can be claimed for care costs.







Basic Allowance


Chairman of the Council

£4162.01 + civic expenses

Vice Chairman of the Council


Leader of the Council


Deputy Leader of the Council


Portfolio Holders


Overview/Scrutiny and Ordinary Committee Chairmen


Chairman of Licensing and Environmental Health Committee





Members of Licensing and Environmental Health Committee

£240.13 (to be paid in a municipal year when at least ten meetings of the Committee take place in a purely regulatory capacity; a payment will be made to members attending at least 50% of those meetings).

Chairman of Planning Committee


Members of Planning Committee


Substitute members of the Planning Committee

£120.06 (to be paid in a municipal year when a substitute member of the Planning Committee has attended at least 25% of meetings of that committee, such allowance to be exempt from the provision that only one SRA may be claimed at any one time).

Chairman of Standards Committee


Main opposition group leader


Other opposition group leader


Independent representatives on the Standards Committee


Panel members of Independent Remuneration Panel






























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