Decision details

Report of the Council's IRP on Members' Allowances for 2019/20

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

To submit the report of the IRP on Members' Allowances for 2019/20 to Council; report on the financial implications of the Panel's Recommendations and, based on these, seek approval to a Members' Allowances Scheme for 2019/20.

Decisions:

The Chief Executive introduced a report concerning a review of Members’ Allowances by the Council’s Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP).

The report set out the relevant statutory powers and background. Appended to the report was the IRPs nineteenth report on Members’ Allowances including its recommendations together with the financial implications.

The Mayor (Councillor Mrs. D.A. Ross-Tomlin) invited the Leader of the Council (Councillor M.A. Brunt) to speak. In doing so, Councillor M.A. Brunt thanked Members of the IRP for their report and noted that it covered a number of issues, including: 

-       The importance of providing clarity on the role of elected members.

 

-       Encouraging people from the widest possible range of backgrounds to serve as councillors and how the allowances scheme could assist with this objective.

 

-       Options for updating the Carers’ Allowance to ensure this reflected the actual cost of care;

 

-       Matters highlighted for future reviews, including the importance of assessing the impact of recommendations made by the Local Government Boundary Commission, concerning new ward boundaries, once these had been implemented.     

The Leader of the Council also made reference to various issues relating to the wider economic landscape and to data, set out in the IRP’s report, concerning Members’ Allowances across Surrey. The Leader of the Council emphasised that while he supported many of the IRP’s recommendations he was unable to support them in full.

As a result, Councillor M.A. Brunt moved, and Councillor G.J. Knight seconded, adjustments to the IRP’s recommendations. During the debate that followed a number of issues were considered and it was

RESOLVED

1a.

That Recommendation (i) of the IRP’s Report be amended so the principle of adopting the October CPI as the external benchmark for the purposes of uplifting Members’ Allowances not be applied for 2019/20.

1b.

That Recommendation (iv) of the IRP’s Report be amended so that there be no increase in the Basic Allowance for 2019/20.

1c.

That Recommendation (vii - a) of the IRP’s Report be amended so that no increase of CPI be applied for 2019/20 to the SRAs for the Leader; Deputy Leader; Executive Members; Full Council Chairman; Planning Committee Chairman; Planning Committee Members; Overview and Scrutiny Chairman; Budget Scrutiny Review Panel Chairman; Licensing and Regulatory Committee Chairman; and Leader of Political Groups. 

1d.

That Recommendation (viii) of the IRP’s Report be amended so that there be no increase in the Mayor and Deputy Mayor’s Allowances for 2019/20.

1e.

That Recommendation (xiii) of the IRP’s Report in relation to the adoption of the Members Allowances Scheme for 2019/20 be amended to take account of no CPI increase for 2019/20.  

1f.

That Recommendations (ii), (iii), (v), (vi), (vii b, c and d), (ix), (x), and (xi) of the IRP’s Report be adopted.

2.

That no further work be commissioned from the IRP for their review in 2019.

3.

That the Chief Executive be authorised to make the necessary changes to the Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2019/20 (approved under Resolution 1a – 1f above).

4.

That the financial implications arising from the adoption of the IRP’s (adjusted) recommendations be noted and built into the Council’s 2019/20 Budget Proposal and future years projections.

5.

That the IRP be thanked for its report.

6.

That payment to IRP Members for producing the report be increased, in line with the general principle of adopting the October 2018 CPI (2.4%), from £550 to £563.20, and that the general principle of this approach be applied annually.  

7a.

That Mr Colin Wood be asked to continue as an IRP Member until 2020.

7b.

That Mrs Tracey Jessup be re-appointed as an IRP Member, for an extra one year term, until 2020 to ensure consistency and transfer of knowledge.

7c.

That Mr Paul Whitehouse be re-appointed as an IRP Member, for an extra one year term, until 2020 to ensure consistency and transfer of knowledge.

7d.

That a fourth IRP Member be recruited, for the 2019/20 Review, for a period of three years to help build resilience and transfer of knowledge for future IRP Members once Mrs Jessup, Mr Whitehouse and Mr Woods had retired.

 

 

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Contact: Christian Scade, Deputy Democratic Services Manager Email: christian.scade@reigate-banstead.gov.uk.

Report author: Christian Scade

Publication date: 07/01/2019

Date of decision: 13/12/2018

Decided at meeting: 13/12/2018 - Council

Accompanying Documents: