Agenda item

Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel on Member Scheme of Allowances 2019/20 (Agenda item 20)

Report of Mark Stinson, Executive Manager for Governance.

 

Minutes:

Mark Stinson, the Executive Manager for Governance presented the report that asked Members to consider and approve the Members Scheme of Allowances for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.  Mr Alistair Skipper a member of the Independent Remuneration Panel was in attendance to answer any questions.  The Panel had met on two occasions and had interviewed the former Leader of the Council and had invited Councillor Denis Crawford as the former Leader of the main opposition party.  The Panel’s recommendations and appendices to the report were highlighted.

 

Councillor Atterwill stated that he would not be supporting the recommendations due to the allowances paid to the Chairmen of Committees and the disparity between the workload of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission and Planning Committee.   Councillor Atterwill asked how often the Council changed the membership of the Independent Remuneration Panel. Members were informed that the re-appointment of Panel members took place in 2018 but normally it was every 4 years.  Mr Skipper was asked to comment on the disparity.

 

Mr Skipper explained the building block system used to establish how the figures were arrived; dependent on the role of the Chairmen and the additional work carried out.  The allowances paid were valid and were reliant on information provided to the Panel.

 

Councillor Harry Clarke felt that the allowance for the Planning Committee Chairman was extremely good value and he would be supporting the basic increase as it was based on the person’s time not their performance.

 

Councillor Tim Birt had been surprised about the mileage rate paid and queried the allowance and asked why it was above the HRMC normal maximum.

 

The Executive Manager for Governance stated that this would most probably have been addressed some years ago by a former Panel and that rate had been applied since.  He reminded Members that they were not obliged to accept the recommendations.

 

Councillor Roger Atterwill put forward an amendment to the recommendation that the allowance for the Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission be removed and be paid the same as the Vice-Chairman until such time that the role was reviewed by the Panel. 

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor Tim Birt but the vote was lost – the vote included 3 votes against and 7 abstentions.

 

Councillor Bambridge reminded Members that the allowance should not be based on the number of meetings but the work that went on behind the scenes.

 

Councillor Tim Birt then proposed an amendment to reduce the mileage rate to 45p per mile.  This proposal was not seconded.

 

Each recommendation was then voted on separately; and it was:

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)     the new scheme is effective from 1 April 2019 until 31 March 2020;

 

 

2)     the Basic Allowance for District Councillors is increased in line with the  locally agreed Breckland staff pay settlement of 2% for the year 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020;

 

3)     the Special Responsibility Allowances are increased in line with the locally agreed Breckland staff pay settlement of 2% for the year 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020;

 

4)     the a special responsibility Allowance for the Vice Chairman of the Council be introduced from 1 April 2019; and

 

5)     the Carer’s allowance is increased to £9 per hour in line with the increase to the ‘‘Real Living Wage’ with effect from 1 April 2019.

 

It was noted that Councillor Brame abstained from voting on recommendation no.4.

Supporting documents: