Your Councillors

COUNCIL

17 July 2019

 

Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel held on 24th and 25th April 2019 Ė Membersí Allowances Scheme

 

Final Decision-Maker

COUNCIL

Lead Head of Service

Angela Woodhouse, Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Lead Officer and Report Author

Ryan OíConnell, Democratic and Electoral Services Manager and Caroline Matthews, Principal Democratic Services Officer

Classification

Public

Wards affected

All

 

Executive Summary

 

The Independent Remuneration Panel met on 24 and 25 April 2019 to review the Membersí Allowances Scheme, and the Panelís recommendations are attached to this report at Appendix A.

 

Purpose of Report

 

Decision

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to Council:

1.   That the Independent Remuneration Panelís recommendations in regard to the Membersí Allowances Scheme be approved as follows:-

 

1)†† That the updated formula be applied to the basic allowance
††††† as implemented in March 2018 following the revised
††††† local authority profile for Maidstone (NOMIS Official Labour
††††† Market Statistics) to make it more transparent
††††† for future years.† This is as follows:-

††††† 12 (average hours) x £15.26 (nomis hourly rate by place of
††††† residence for Maidstone Dec 2018) x 52 weeks (minus Public Service
††††† Discount of 45%).

††††† This would equate to £5,237 p.a.

2)†† That the Deputy Leader be provided with a Special
††††††††† Responsibility Allowance in recognition of the work undertaken
††††††††† by this position in carrying out work delegated by the Leader.†
††††††††† This would be £4,000 (which is 20% of the Leaderís
††††††††† Allowance).

 

††† 3)† That the Chairman of the newly established Democracy and
††††††††† General Purposes Committee be provided with a Special
††††††††† Responsibility Allowance of £4,000 (which is 20% of the
††††††††† Leaderís Allowance).†††

††† 4)†† That the Dependent carers allowance be paid at market
†††††††††† rates for specialist carer providers and upon receipts.† The†
†††††††††† Child-care providers be paid at least the minimum living wage
†††††††††† (as set by the living wage foundation and on production of
†††††††††† receipts).†

††† 5)††† That travelling and subsistence should not be paid to Visiting
††††††††† †Members who are not Committee Members or Substitute
†††††††††† Members except where they have been specifically invited
†††††††††† by the Chairman or Vice-Chairman to the Committee meeting.

††† 6)††† That Members should not submit expenses claims that are
†††††††††† more than two months old.†

††† 7)††† That role profiles are produced for a) the generic councillor
†††††††††† role, and b) those that attract a Special Responsibility
†††††††††† Allowance to give clarity.

 

††† 8)††† That an indexation rise be continued which would be linked to
†††††††††† staff salary increases but would not be applied to the basic
†††††††††† allowance as the allowance is worked out on a specified
†††††††††† formula but would rise annually based on the revised nomis
††† †††††††rate by place of residence from the Office of National Statistics
†††††††††† (the nomis rate is re-calculated every December).

††† 9)††† That there should not be a Special Responsibility Allowance for
†††††††††† Vice-Chairmen.

††† 10) †That the Leaders allowance remains the same and the
†††††††††† percentage ratio remains the same for the other Special
†††††††††† Responsibility Allowances but would now include a 2%
†††††††††† indexation rise (applicable from 1st April 2019) and are set out below:-

 

Allowance

Current Amount

Recommended Amount

 

Comments

Basic Allowance

 

£5,065

£5,237 (with formula applied but an indexation rise would not apply)

55 Members

Leader of the Council/Chairman of Policy & Resources Committee

 

£19,610

 

£20,002 (*)

 

1 Member

Chairman of Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee

£7,843

£8,000 (40% of Leaderís Allowance) (*)

Committee of 9 Members

Chairman of Communities, Housing & Environment Committee

£7,843

£8,000 (40% of Leaderís Allowance) (*)

Committee of 9 Members

Chairman of Economic Regeneration and Leisure Committee

£7,843

£8,000 (40% of Leaderís Allowance) (*)

Committee of 9 Members

Chairman of Planning Committee

£7,843

£8,000 (40% of Leaderís Allowance)† (*)

Committee of 13 Members

Chairman of Audit, Governance &† Standards Committee

£3,921

£4,000 (20% of Leaderís Allowance) (*)

Committee of 9 Members plus 2 Non-Voting Parish Councillors appointed by the Council for a three year term of office

Chairman of Licensing Committee

£3,921

£4,000 (20% of Leaderís Allowance) (*)

Committee of 13 Members

Chairman of Democracy and General Purposes Committee

N/A

£4,000 (20% of Leaderís Allowance) (*)

Committee of 9

Group Leaders Allowance

£394.74

£402.63 (*)

Based on Composition of Party x £402.63 (£14,092.05 ų 35, 35 being the current composition of Members excluding the Leaderís party)

Co-opted Members of Audit, Governance and Standards Committee

£344

£350 (*)

Per Annum, 2 Parish Councillor Members

Independent Person for Code of Conduct Issues (Audit, Governance and Standards Committee)

£735

£749 (*)

1 Person

Chairman of Licensing Panel Hearing

£80 per session

£81.72 per session (*)

1 Member

Licensing Panel Hearing Members

£60 per session

£61.55 per session (*)

2 Members


(*) Ė All rates include a 2% increase in line with the staff
††††††† indexation rise (Apart from the basic allowance which is
††††††† calculated on the specified formula).

Mayorís Allowance Ė the Panel recommended that the Mayorís Allowance should stay the same but with the indexation rise - £2,653.45 per annum.†

Deputy Mayorís Allowance - the Panel recommended that the Deputy Mayorís Allowance should stay the same but with the indexation rise - £1,061.47 per annum.

†† 11) That the Travel and Subsistence rates not be changed.

†† 12) That the Member Development and Training arrangements
†††† remain unchanged and that all Members be encouraged to take
††††† up any training offered by the Authority to meet the defined
††††† responsibilities and competencies of the roles undertaken.

2. That the date of implementation for the new rates be as follows:-

†From 1st April 2019 (retrospectively) for Basic Allowance
†From 21st May 2019 for Special Responsibility Allowances

 

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Council

17 July 2019



Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel held on 24th and 25th April 2019 Ė Membersí Allowances Scheme

 

1.       CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

The Membersí Allowances Scheme supports and recognises the work of the Councillors.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Cross Cutting Objectives

The Scheme gives clarity to the payments made to Councillors.

 

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Risk Management

No significant risks.† See paragraph 5 below.

Democratic and Electoral Services Manager

Financial

The proposals set out in the recommendation can be met from within existing budgets.

Section 151 Officer & Finance Team

Staffing

We will deliver the recommendations with our current staffing.

 

Democratic and Electoral Services Manager

Legal

The legal framework for Membersí Allowances is established under the Local

Government and Housing Act 1989, section 18. This gave the Secretary of State the power to make regulations authorising or requiring local authorities to pay a basic allowance to each councillor and special responsibility allowances to councillors with special responsibilities.


The section was amended by the Local Government Act 2000, section 99 to

allow the Secretary of State to make regulations providing for the payment of

pensions, allowances and gratuities to Members and the payment of carers

allowances.

Under the Local Authorities (Member Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003,

before a local authority makes or amends a scheme for Membersí Allowances, it

must have regard to the recommendations made to it by an independent remuneration panel.

[Legal Team]

Privacy and Data Protection

No implications.

Policy and Information Team

Equalities

No impact identified as a result of the report recommendations.

Equalities and Corporate Policy Officer

Public Health

 

 

We recognise that the recommendations will not negatively impact on population health or that of individuals.

Democratic and Electoral Services Manager

Crime and Disorder

No implications.

Democratic and Electoral Services Manager

Procurement

No implications.

Democratic and Electoral Services Manager

 

 

2.††††† INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

2.1        The Independent Remuneration Panel met on 24 and 25 April 2019 to review the Membersí Allowances Scheme.† The report of the Panel can be found at Appendix A to this report.

2.2        The basic allowance would not include an indexation rise as the formula applied, which was agreed in March 2018 by Council, is based on the nomis hourly rate by place of residence according to the National Office of Statistics.

2.3        One of the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel was to afford the Democracy and General Purposes Committee Chairman a Special Responsibility Allowance on the proviso that the Panel were satisfied that the work programme for the year was significant enough to warrant a Special Responsibility Allowance.† The Panel have been given a copy of the work programme and are now satisfied that the Special Responsibility Allowance should be afforded to this role.

2.4        It should be recognised that no Member may receive more than one Special Responsibility Allowance.†

 

 

3.           AVAILABLE OPTIONS

The Authority is required to undergo a four yearly independent
review of its Membersí Allowances Scheme and should have regard
to the recommendations made in relation to it by an independent
remuneration panel as set out the Local Authorities (Membersí
Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003.

 

 

4.        †PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

The Council could choose not to adopt any of the recommendations but this is not recommended as the Local Authorities (Membersí Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 state that an Authority should have regard to the recommendations.††

 

 

 

5.       ††RISK

5.1        There are no risk management implications arising from this report.†

 

 

 

6.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

6.1     If Council were minded to approve the recommendations of the Panel then
the revised figures outlined in the report would be incorporated in the† Members Allowances Scheme and advertised in the local newspaper for transparency.

 

 

 

7.        REPORT APPENDICES

 

         Appendix A: Report of the Remuneration Panel

 

 

8.        BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

None