Independent Remuneration Panel recommends rise in councillors' allowances
The Council is obliged to commission an independent review of councillors' allowances at least every four years. In early 2016, an Independent Remuneration Panel was established to carry out this task.
In May, it published its report. The report recommends an increase in the basic allowance paid to all councillors from its current level of £12,250 to £13,910. In addition, the special responsibility allowances paid to councillors holding particular positions such as leader, chairman of the council, chairman of committees etc. were reviewed. In most cases, it was recommended that they should be increased. A copy of the report can be downloaded from Independent remuneration panel report.
The final decision on whether or not to implement the changes will be made by Full Council on 17 May. The Council will consider the report by the Panel but it is not obliged to implement the changes, or alternatively, the Council could vote for different levels of remuneration. If changes are made, they would take effect from May 2017 after the next round of Council elections.
My position is that I do not support the rises and I will be voting against the implementation of the recommendations. At a time of continuing severe financial constraints for the Council, I think that we should continue with a freeze on councillors' allowances.