Agenda and minutes

Member Remuneration Panel
Tuesday, 17th November, 2015 6.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room,, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping

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

Items
No. Item

6.

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 Panel for the duration of the meeting.

 

7.

Declarations of Interest

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

 

Minutes:

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

8.

Minutes of Previous Meeting (30.9.15) pdf icon PDF 74 KB

(Director of Governance) To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 30 September 2015.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held of the Panel held on 30 September 2015 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

9.

Members Allowances Scheme - Annual Review pdf icon PDF 111 KB

(Director of Governance) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report of the Director of Governance in connection with a number of matters related to the review of the Council’s Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2016/17, that had been raised at its meeting on held on 30 September 2015. The Panel also further considered the matters to be subject of its recommendations to the Council in connection with the review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme.

 

The Assistant Director (Governance and Performance Management) indicated that the recommendations of the Panel should ideally be made to the meeting of the Council to be held on 15 December 2015,  in order to ensure that any changes to the Scheme were considered by the time that the Council’s budget for 2016/17 was approved.

 

Basic Allowance

 

The Panel considered the results of additional benchmarking undertaken by the Director of Governance in respect of the level of Basic Allowance applied by other similar local authorities and the district councils inEssex. Although members appreciated that comparisons could not necessarily be made on a like-for-like basis, the Panel noted that the Council’s implemented level of Basic Allowance (£3,435.00) remained amongst the lowest of those authorities for which data had been obtained.

 

The Panel was of the opinion that the Council’s application of Basic Allowance was continuing to fall behind that of comparable authorities and that, by paying a relatively low level of Basic Allowance, there was a danger of undervaluing the role of councilors, which could make it more difficult to attract potential candidates to stand for election in future. Whilst appreciating that implementation was a matter for the Council to determine and that there was a need for restraint in setting the authority’s budget, the Panel reiterated its long-standing view that the level of implementation of the Basic Allowance should be increased on a full or phased basis as soon as possible.

 

Special Responsibility Allowance

 

The Panel was advised that the Council established a Licensing Committee for each municipal year, to exercise the policy functions of the authority in relation to a range of licensing, registration, permit and consent functions. The Members’ Allowances Scheme did not currently provide for a Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) to be applied to the position of the Chairman of the Licensing Committee, as the Panel had been of the view that this would be a shared responsibility of the chairmen of the separate Licensing Sub-Committees, when new licensing arrangements were introduced in 2005. However, on the basis of the representations made by the Chairman of the Licensing Committee as part of the review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2016/17, members considered that such SRA would now be appropriate, given the importance of the policy functions handled by the Chairman of the Committee.

 

The Panel considered that an SRA of £500.00 per annum would be appropriate in this regard, to reflect the licensing policy responsibilities of the Committee and the knowledge and experience required of its chairman. Members proposed that this amount be met  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager reported that that there was no urgent business for consideration by the Panel.

 

11.

Date of Next Meeting

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

 

Members may wish to combine the next meeting with a meeting of the Parish Remuneration Panel, to consider issues arising from the meeting held on 30 September 2015, in connection with the Members’ Allowances Schemes for individual town and parish councils within the district.

Minutes:

The Panel agreed that, subject to the agreement of the Council to its recommendations in respect of the review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2016/17, the next meeting be constituted as the Parish Remuneration Panel on a date to be arranged, to consider issues arising from the meeting held on 30 September 2015 in connection with the Remuneration Schemes for individual town and parish councils within the district.