Agenda item

Members' Allowances - Recommendations 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.


Further to the Council meeting held on 31 January 2019, Members considered the Torbay Independent Remuneration Panel’s eighth report on Members’ Allowances for Torbay Council, along with the recommendations of the Cabinet (as set out in the submitted report and revised recommendations circulated on 19 June 2019).


Councillor Carter proposed and Councillor Cowell seconded a motion, which was agreed (unanimously) by the Council as set out below:


(i)         that the Council approves the following for inclusion in the Members’ Allowance Scheme for implementation from 7 May 2019:


(a)       that the Basic Allowance for all Members be set at £8,668 (this is set at a level to include covering all costs which are not covered elsewhere in the Allowances Scheme, such as telephone charges, broadband, stationery, paper, 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 for officers and be paid for all approved duties;


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


-           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 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 Cabinet or committee of the Cabinet (if appointed);

(d)       working parties;

(e)       scrutiny review panels;

(g)       any outside organisation and their sub-groups appointed by the Council or Leader of the Council, 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 by committee/board members;


(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;


(v)       attendance at non-political conferences/seminars, subject to prior approval by the Director or Assistant Director who holds the budget, and funding for the conference being available (in accordance with the Local Protocol for the Leader of the Council and Political Groups);


(e)       that the co-optees allowance is frozen at £118 and that this will include expenses for travel and subsistence;


(f)        that Members may only claim one SRA in addition to their basic allowance;


(g)       that the SRA for the Leader of the Council be set at £20,004;


(h)       that the SRA for the Deputy Leader be set at £11,101;


(i)         that the SRA for Cabinet members be set at £10,733 on the basis of a collective decision making Cabinet;


(k)       that the SRA for the Overview and Scrutiny Co-ordinator be set at £7,155;


(l)         that the SRA for the Scrutiny Leads be set at £3,578 and that there be no more than four Scrutiny Leads appointed;


(m)      that the SRA for the Chairman/woman of the Planning Committee be set at £7,155;


(n)       that the SRA for all other Chairmen/women of all remaining Committees be set at £3,578;


(o)       that if any members of the Licensing Committee, other than the Chairman or Vice Chairman, are required to Chair Licensing Sub-Committees the SRA for those members be as follows:


10+ meetings           £1,155

5 - 9 meetings          £578


                        (both in line with the current allowance);


(p)       that the SRA for the Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay be £3,578;


(q)       that the SRA for the Leaders of Political Groups is set at £347 per member of the group (excluding the Group Leader in thecalculations and in line with the current allowance);


(r)        that the Basic Allowances, Special Responsibility Allowances and Co-optees Allowances be indexed from 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 updated as and when the Council’s Expenses Policy is adjusted and the whole allowances Scheme will be reviewed by no later than 2023;


(s)       that the rates for 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;


(t)        that Members have the option to purchase either an annual car parking permit at £100 to include all Council owned car parks or pay to park on an ad-hoc basis in line with the charges applicable to staff;


(v)       that the provision of ICT equipment for members is in line with the officer provision;


(ii)        that the Monitoring Officer be requested to update the Council’s Constitution to reflect the number of Scrutiny Leads being no more than four appointed;  and


(iii)       that, in light of the decision made in respect of (i) above, the Head of Governance Support is requested to bring the Members’ Allowances Scheme up to date.


(Note:  During the debate a typographical error was highlighted in respect of the Cabinet members SRA and the correct figure was confirmed at £10,733.)

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