Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel on Members Scheme of Allowances 2017-2018 (Agenda item 16)
- Meeting of Council, Thursday, 19th January, 2017 10.00 am (Item 1617.)
- View the background to item 1617.
Report of the Executive Manager, Governance.
It was noted that there was no Proforma B attached to the report; however, Finance had confirmed that the costings had been through finance and was within budget.
The Executive Manager for Governance advised that prior to approving and Scheme for Members Allowances, the Council must have regard to the recommendations made by an Independent Panel (the Independent Remuneration Panel). The Panel had completed its work on the Scheme to be introduced from 1 April 2017. The recommended Scheme had been appended to the report and the Chairman of the Panel, Mr Andrew Egerton- Smith was in attendance to answer questions.
Members were informed that the Panel had since considered an anomaly that had arisen where the same individual had been appointed as Chairman of both the Licensing Committee and the Committee of the Licensing Authority. As the Committees were classed as separate bodies, the Panel had allocated a 50% Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) to both; however, as Members were only entitled to claim a single SRA, the Panel had proposed the following addition: “Where the same individual occupies the role of Chairman of both the Licensing Committee and the Committee of the Licensing Authority, that individual shall be entitled to claim the full allowance of £5,300.00.
Councillor Clarke agreed with the recommendations except for recommendation number 3 which he felt should be frozen.
Councillor Wassell had observed paragraph 6.2 at Appendix A which was in relation to recommendation 5 and felt that this would formalise those 2015/16 Members who used their own Broadband.
The proposal around Broadband was explained which included no longer delivering the technical kit that was currently provided. Councillor Wassell thought that this would mean a change in Policy.
The Leader felt that those Members who did not have any Broadband provision should be reimbursed and Councils should, sometime in the future, decide whether Members should provide their own Broadband and kit. He felt that clarification was required for this particular recommendation and suggested that another paper on this particular matter should be provided. Councillor Jermy agreed with this suggestion as he himself had his own Broadband but was a ‘twin hatter’ and was therefore subsidised by Norfolk County Council. Referring to the report itself at paragraph 1.2, he asked if this invitation had been taken up by the Member concerned. Councillor Crawford said that unfortunately he could not attend that day as he had another appointment.
Councillor Linda Monument felt that a simple amendment to this particular recommendation would suffice by adding the words, as a contribution to those Members who make their own Broadband arrangements”
Councillor Oliver suggested adding further wording to the end of recommendation 5 to read: “excepting that any allowance is provided by another authority.”
The aforementioned suggestions/proposals were seconded.
Councillor Thomas Monument was disappointed that electric vehicles had not been included again in the Motor Car Allowance rates.
The aforementioned suggestions were proposed including the question in relation to electric vehicles.
The Executive Manager for Governance assured Members that the meaning of the word ‘kit’ did not mean laptops, and in view of the fact that there was no reference to electric vehicles, he suggested that this matter should be discussed with the Panel.
It was agreed that Officers would engage with the Panel on this matter.
Councillor Martin pointed out the number of hours he had worked at meetings during one month and felt that the allowance currently received was more than acceptable.
1. the new Scheme be approved, to be effective from 1 April 2017 until 31 March 2019;
2. the Basic Allowance for District Councillors be increased in line with the locally agreed Breckland staff pay settlement for the next two years (until 31 March 2019);
3. Special Responsibility Allowances be increased in line with the locally agreed Breckland staff pay settlement for the next two years (until 31 March 2019);
4. the Carer’s allowance be increased in line with the ‘Real Living Wage’ to £8.45 per hour (the current amount) with effect from 1 April 2017;
5. an allowance of £15.00 per month be introduced, as a contribution to those Members who make their own Broadband arrangements, excepting that any allowance is provided by another authority; and
6. should the same individual occupy the role of both Chairman of the Licensing Committee and the Committee of the Licensing Authority, then that individual be entitled to claim the full allowance of £5,300.00.
A further amendment was suggested. However, the Chairman ruled that it could not be considered as the motion had been moved, seconded and voted upon.
- Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel on Members Scheme of Allownances 2017-2018, item 1617. PDF 59 KB