Agenda and minutes

Member Remuneration Panel
Thursday, 31st October, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping. View directions

Contact: S. Tautz Tel: (01992) 564180  Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman of the Panel for the duration of the meeting. There is no appointed Chairman of the Panel, as the appointment of a Chairman is agreed at each meeting.

 

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager reminded members that there was no appointed chairman of the Panel, as the appointment of a chairman was agreed at each meeting.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That T. Finn be elected as Chairman of the Panel for the duration of the meeting.

 

 

2.

Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on the agenda for the meeting, pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.

 

Minutes:

No interests in any item on the agenda for the meeting were declared by members of the Panel, pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.

3.

Terms of Reference

To note the following terms of reference of the Remuneration Panel:

 

‘To assess the level of allowances, special responsibility allowances and other payments for members of the Council carrying out the following functions and report to the Council for determination:

 

·                 the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council;

·                 the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council;

·                 Portfolio Holders;

·                 the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee;

·                 the Chairmen and Vice-Chairman of Regulatory, Area and other Committees and Working Groups; and

·                 other Members of Council.’

 

Minutes:

The Panel noted its current terms of reference.

4.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 29 November 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 29 November 2018 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

5.

Members' Allowances Scheme - Annual Review 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 212 KB

To consider the attached report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager reminded the Panel that the annual review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme commenced in September each year, in order to ensure that any recommendations for revision to elements of the Scheme could be considered by the time that the Council’s budget was approved for the following financial year.

 

Members noted that, to commence the review process for 2020/21, a general invitation had been extended to all elected and co-opted members of the Council on behalf of the Panel, to express any suggestions or concerns with regard to the current operation of the allowances scheme. The Democratic Services Manager reported that no representations had been received as a result of such invitation.

 

Basic Allowance

 

The Panel was reminded that, at its meeting on 15 December 2016, the Council had agreed the implementation of 100% of the amount of Basic Allowance for each member with effect from the commencement of the 2016/17 municipal year, in line with the recommendations of the Panel over a number of years.

 

The Democratic Services Manager reported that,in considering the recommendations of the Panel in December 2016, the Council had also agreed that no change be made to the payment of the full amount of Basic Allowance of £4,300.00 per member per annum to be included in the Members’ Allowances Scheme, following an increase in the implementation rate of the Basic Allowance from 2016/17 in line with the recommendations of the Panel that the authority should implement 100% of the amount of Basic Allowance for each member, rather than the level of 80% previously applied.

 

The Panel considered the findings of an updated benchmarking exercise undertaken amongst comparable local authorities as part of its review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme, in order to assess whether an inflationary increase in the level of Basic Allowance, linked to recent local government pay awards, should be considered. However, whilst noting that the Council was currently almost the lowest of the comparator authorities in terms of Basic Allowance, the Panel did not consider it necessary to recommend any changes to the application of Basic Allowance for 2020/21. However, members’ considered that it would be appropriate to continue to revisit the application of Basic Allowance as part of the annual review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme, notwithstanding that the implementation of any increase would be a matter for the Council to determine and that there remained a continued need for restraint in the setting of the authority’s annual budget.

 

Special Responsibility Allowance

 

The Panel did not consider that it was necessary to make any changes to the Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) applied to various member positions for 2019/20, as there had been no change in such responsibilities since the review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme for the current year. However, the Panel wished to encourage the Council to increase the implementation level of the relevant allowances identified in the Members’ Allowances Scheme, in order to achieve the full amount of each allowance as soon as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Any Other Business

To consider any additional items of business for the meeting.

 

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager reported that there were no additional items of business for consideration at the meeting.

 

7.

Date of Next Meeting

To consider arrangements for future meetings of the Panel, if required.

Minutes:

The Panel was advised that it was not currently necessary to make arrangements for a further meeting to be held during the municipal year.