Agenda and minutes

Member Remuneration Panel
Wednesday, 30th September, 2015 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping

Contact: S. Tautz, Democratic Services Manager  Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk Tel: (01992) 564243

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chairman

(Director of Governance) To elect a Chairman for the meeting of the Panel.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That S. Lye be elected as Chairman of the Remuneration Panel for the duration of the meeting.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made by members of the Panel pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.

3.

Minutes of Previous Meeting (9.3.15) pdf icon PDF 32 KB

(Director of Governance) To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 9 March 2015.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 9 March 2015 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

4.

Member Remuneration Scheme - Annual Review pdf icon PDF 16 KB

(Director of Governance) The annual review of the Council’s Member Allowances Scheme has traditionally commenced in September each year, to ensure that any changes to the Scheme are considered by the time that the Council’s budget is approved for the following financial year (usually in February/March).

 

To commence the process for 2016/17, a general invitation has been extended to all members on behalf of the Panel, to express any suggestions or concerns with regard to the current remuneration scheme. Representations received from Councillor K. Angold-Stephens are attached as appendix to this report and the Democratic Services Manager will report to the meeting in connection with any other matters submitted for consideration by the Panel subsequent to the publication of this agenda.

 

As part of its review of the Member Allowances Scheme for 2015/16, the Panel recommended that a Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) be applied to the position of the Chairman of the Constitution Working Group, to reflect the importance and complexity of the ongoing review of the Council’s constitution being undertaken by the Working Group. The allocation of this SRA was agreed by the Council in April 2015 on the recommendation of the Panel. It is still anticipated that the Working Group will complete its review of the constitution in March 2016 and will then only need to meet as occasionally necessary to consider specific constitutional issues, as a further full review of the constitution will not be required for several years.

 

As the Panel will be aware, the Council has agreed (28 July 2015) that the Member Allowances Scheme be amended to include provision for the payment of mileage and public transport costs for approved civic duties carried out by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council, in relation to their attendance at civic events for which Council funded transport is not provided. The payment of such claims is to be met from the existing members allowances budget and, although not a matter within the terms of reference of the Remuneration Panel, the Panel is advised that the existing budget provision for the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Council is be reviewed by the Governance Select Committee in the near future.

 

The current Members’ Allowances Scheme is also attached as an appendix to this report, together with an updated benchmarking exercise in respect of basic and special responsibility allowances, that was originally undertaken amongst the Council’s ‘family group’ of local authorities earlier in 2015.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager reported that the annual review of the Council’s Member Remuneration Scheme had traditionally commenced in September each year, to ensure that any proposed revisions to the Scheme were considered by the time that the Council’s budget was approved for the following financial year.

The Panel was advised that, to commence the review process for 2016/17, a general invitation has been extended to all members of the Council to express any suggestions or concerns with regard to the current remuneration scheme. The Panel considered representations received from Councillor K. Angold-Stephens, expressing support for a progressive increase in the Basic Allowance made to all members of the Council from 2016/17, to achieve the recommendations for the payment of the full amount of Basic Allowance favoured by the Panel.  Members also considered suggestions made by Councillor Angold-Stephens in connection with the award of Special Responsibility Allowance to the position of the Chairman of the Licensing Committee, which was currently made at the same rate of allowance as the SRA paid to the Chairman of the six Licensing Sub-Committees. The Democratic Services Manager advised the Panel that no other matters had been submitted for consideration by the Panel by other members of the Council, and introduced the findings of a benchmarking exercise in respect of Basic and Special Responsibility Allowances, that had been undertaken amongst the Council’s ‘family group’ of local authorities.

 

The Democratic Services Manager reported that, as part of the review of the Remuneration Scheme for 2015/16, the Council had adopted the recommendations of the Panel that a Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) be applied to the position of the Chairman of the Constitution Working Group, to reflect the importance and complexity of the ongoing review of the Council’s constitution being undertaken by the Working Group. The Panel noted that it was still anticipated that the Working Group would complete its review of the constitution in March 2016 and would then only need to meet as occasionally necessary to consider specific constitutional issues, as a further full review of the constitution will not be required for several years.

The Panel was reminded that the Council had agreed that the Member Remuneration Scheme had recently been amended to include provision for the payment of mileage and public transport costs for approved civic duties carried out by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council, in relation to their attendance at civic events for which Council funded transport was not provided. The Assistant Director of Governance (Governance and Performance Management) reported that the payment of such claims was to be met from the existing members allowances budget and that the existing budget provision for the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Council was to be reviewed by the Governance Select Committee in the near future. The Panel, was reminded that this was not a matter within the terms of reference of the Remuneration Panel.

RESOLVED:

(1)       That an analysis be made of activities undertaken in relation to the position of the Chairman  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Date of Next Meeting

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

Minutes:

The Panel agreed that a further meeting be held on a date to be agreed during November 2015, to continue its review of the Member Remuneration Scheme for 2016/17.