Agenda and minutes

Member Remuneration Panel
Monday, 9th November, 2009 5.00 pm

Venue: Group Room - Room 1.19 - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: Graham Lunnun, The Office of the Chief Executive  Email:  glunnun@eppingforestdc.gov.uk Tel 01992 564244

Items
No. Item

1.

CHAIRMAN

To elect a Chairman for the meeting.

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

            That S Lye be elected Chairman for the meeting.

2.

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING pdf icon PDF 12 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 27 March 2008 (attached).

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 27 March 2008 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

3.

TERMS OF REFERENCE

(Assistant to the Chief Executive)  The Panel is established to advise on the payment of allowances and expenses to District Councillors.

Minutes:

The Panel noted that it had been established to advise on the payment of allowances and expenses to District Councillors.

4.

MEMBER REMUNERATION SCHEME - REVIEW pdf icon PDF 129 KB

(Assistant to the Chief Executive) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report:

 

(a)        summarising the Government’s guidance on local authority allowances;

 

(b)        setting out the Council’s existing Remuneration Scheme and details of its implementation;

 

(c)        summarising the results of a survey undertaken in spring/summer 2008 on behalf of the Local Government Association and the Improvement and Development Agency in relation to Local Authority Members’ Allowances.

 

The Panel discussed the existing allowances and options for changes.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            Basic Allowance

 

            (1)        That, having regard to the small difference between the current amount in the adopted scheme (£4,300 per annum) and (a) the average amount paid to similar councils in the same region (£4,505 per annum) and (b) the amount (£4,524 per annum) achieved by applying the current minimum adult weekly wage of £5.80 per hour to a 15 hour week, no change to be made to the amount of Basic Allowance;

 

            (2)        That members entering into an agreement under the Council’s Connectivity Scheme continue to receive as supplement to the Basic Allowance a sum of £500 per annum in their first year in office and £250 per annum in each subsequent year of their term of office;

 

            (3)        That the Council be encouraged to review its level of implementation of the Basic Allowance, currently £3,150 per annum, as this is clearly considerably less than the amounts paid to councillors in similar authorities in the same region and it is considered there is a danger of under-valuing the role which may make it more difficult to attract potential candidates to stand for election in future;

 

            (4)        That in view of the Government’s decision to reject the recommendation of the Councillors’ Commission to authorise Standards Committees to suspend and clawback part of the Basic Allowance where a member fails to fulfil their role, no steps be taken to introduce voluntary clawback;

 

            (5)        That the Council continue to consider steps which could be taken to make members more accountable including the Member Development Programme promoted by the Improvement and Development Agency.

 

            Special Responsibility Allowances

 

            (6)        That, subject to (7) below, in view of the similarities in the amounts of Special Responsibility Allowances in the Council’s current adopted scheme and those of similar authorities in the same region as the Council, no change be made to the amounts of Special Responsibility Allowances;

 

            (7)        That in view of the infrequency of meetings of the Complaints Panel and the Staff Appeals Panel, the Special Responsibility Allowances for the Chairmen of those Panels and the Housing Appeals and Review Panel be changed to an amount of £110 per meeting held;

 

            (8)        That having regard to the increased number of meetings of Licensing Sub-Committees and the nature of business undertaken at those meetings the Council be asked to note the disappointment of the Panel that steps have not been taken to change the arrangements for the election of Chairmen of those Sub-Committees as it is considered that a significant responsibility is currently not being recognised;

 

            (9)        That in view of the changes made to Portfolio Holder responsibilities  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

MEMBERSHIP OF THE PANEL

(Assistant to the Chief Executive) To consider what further steps can be taken to fill the vacancy on the Panel.

 

A member of the Panel cannot also be a member of the District Council or a member of a committee or sub-committee of the Council. In addition a member of the Panel must not be disqualified from being or becoming a member of an authority.

Minutes:

            Consideration was given to what further steps could be taken in order to fill the vacancy on the Panel.  It was noted that a member of the Panel could not also be a member of the District Council or a member of a Committee or Sub-Committee of the Council.  It was further noted that a member of the Panel was not to be disqualified from being or becoming a member of an authority.

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

                        That the officers arrange to place a public notice in appropriate media and that copies be sent to the Clerks of Town and Parish Councils in the District.

6.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To agree a date for another meeting, if required.

Minutes:

Members considered the need for another meeting.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            That officers consult with members of the Panel regarding the date for another meeting, if required.