Agenda item

Review of Members' Allowances Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel

To consider a report that ensures Members receive allowances which reflect the level and time commitment required to fulfil their roles and that the scheme complies with the relevant legislation and guidance.


The Council considered the submitted report which set out the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel on its review of Members’ Allowances.


It was proposed by Councillor Mills and seconded by Councillor Robson:


(i)         that the Torbay Independent Remuneration Panel be thanked for their seventh report on the review of the Council’s Members’ Allowance Scheme;


(ii)        that all proposed increases or decreases set out in the Independent Remuneration Panel’s Report be rejected;


(iii)       that the following recommendations of the Torbay Independent Remuneration Panel be adopted:


(a)       that the Basic Allowance for all Members should remain unchanged at £8,167 (this is set at a level to include covering costs such as telephone charges, broadband, stationery, postage and travel on non-approved duties etc.);


(b)       that the rates for travel be the same as those set in the Torbay Council Expenses Policy and be paid for all approved duties (e.g. 40p for car, electric car, motorbike or bicycle per mile);


(c)        that subsistence is only paid for the approved duties listed in (d) and the following must apply: 


-     breakfast – depart from home before 8.00 a.m. £6.22;

-      lunch – absent from normal place of work between 12.00 noon and 2.00 p.m. £7.35; and

-     evening meal – not home before 6.00 p.m. £10.17;


(d)       that the following are identified as approved duties for the purpose of travel, subsistence and childcare/dependent carers’ allowances:


(i)         attendance at meetings as a duly appointed member of:


(a)    the Council and any committee of the Council;

(b)    any sub-committee appointed by a committee;

(c)     the Executive or committee of the Executive (if appointed);

(d)    working parties;

(e)    scrutiny review panels;

(f)     policy development groups;

(g)    any outside organisation and their sub-groups appointed by the Council or the Mayor, provided that the organisation does not pay any such expenses (these are listed on each Councillor’s details page on the Council’s website at


(ii)        attendance at site visits for planning or licensing purposes or as part of overview and scrutiny;


(iii)       attendance at member development sessions;


(iv)       attendance at seminars and all member briefings organised by Torbay Council, except for those held immediately prior to a meeting of Council;


(e)       that the co-optees allowance is frozen at £114 and that this will include expenses for travel and subsistence;


(f)        that the SRA for the Leaders of Political Groups remains unchanged as £327 per member of the group(excluding the Group Leader in the calculations);


(g)       that the Basic Allowances, Special Responsibility Allowances and Co-optees Allowances be indexed from 1 April 2016 to the annual local government pay percentage increase as agreed by the National Joint Committee for Local Government Services.  The travel and subsistence allowances will be up-rated as and when the Council’s Expenses Policy is adjusted and the whole allowances Scheme will be reviewed by no later than 2019;


(h)       that the Council is recommended to consider introducing performance management arrangements for the Group Leaders/Mayor to assess the performance of all Members and in particular those in receipt of an SRA, except political group leaders who will be held to account by their group;


(i)         that the rates for childcare and dependent carers’ allowances remains the same, namely equal to the cost incurred when a carer has been engaged to enable a Member or Co-opted Member to carry out an approved duty; and


(j)         that the Mayor is not part of the Council’s pension scheme;


(iv)       that the Governance Support Manager be requested to update Members’ Allowances Scheme with the changes outlined in (i) to (iii) above;  and


(v)        that the changes to the Members’ Allowances Scheme as a result of (i) to (iii) above be implemented from 1 April 2016.


An amendment was proposed by Councillor Darling (S) and seconded by Councillor Darling (M):


(i)         that the Special Responsibility Allowance for the Mayor be reduced by 20% (£10,889.20) to £43,556.80; and


(ii)        that there be no Special Responsibility Allowance for a Deputy Mayor without a Portfolio.


During the debate and in accordance with Standing Order A16.9, Councillor Darling (S), with the consent of his seconder (Councillor Darling (M)), withdrew his amendment.


The original motion was then before members for consideration.


On being put to the vote, the motion was declared carried (unanimous).

Supporting documents: