Agenda item

Members' Allowances Scheme - Recommendation from the Independent Renumeration Panel

To consider the report of the Independent Renumeration Panel on the Members’ Allowances Scheme.


The Council received the report of the Independent Renumeration Panel’s review of the Council’s Members Allowances Scheme (as set out the in the submitted report) and a cross party motion.


Councillor Tyerman proposed and Councillor Cowell seconded the cross party motion, which was agreed by the Council as set out below:


1.      that the Torbay Independent Remuneration Panel be thanked for their report on the review of the Council’s Members’ Allowance Scheme;


2.      that the Panel’s recommendation in respect of the Basic Allowance (namely to adopt the NJC allowances increase of 3.88%) be not accepted, but the principle to increase by the same percentage as the average of staff pay (as previously adopted) continue to be applied to the Basic Allowance, and the increase to be calculated annually by the Director of Finance;


3.      that the Panel’s recommendation for a differential in multiplier dependent upon the number of Cabinet members be not accepted and a flat multiplier rate of 1.3 as recommended by the Panel for a Cabinet of up to 6 members be applied for Cabinet members’ Special Responsibility Allowances regardless of the size of the Cabinet;


4.      that the Special Responsibility Allowances (“SRA”) be linked to the multipliers as recommended by the Panel and set out below:


(a)     that the SRA for the Leader of the Council be set at 2.5 x Basic;


(b)    that the SRA for the Deputy Leader be set at 1.5 x Basic:


(c)     that the SRA for the Overview and Scrutiny Co-ordinator be set at 0.8 x Basic;


(d)    that the SRA for the two Scrutiny Leads who Chair the Adult Social Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Board and the Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Board be set at 0.6 x Basic;


(e)     that the SRA for the two Scrutiny Leads who Chair ad hoc Task and Finish Groups be set at 0.4 x Basic and it be noted that the Panel have requested that should the number of Scrutiny Leads exceed four, the Panel wish to re-visit the level of SRA allowance in that respect;


(f)      that the SRA for the Chair of Planning Committee be set at 0.8 x Basic;


(g)    that the SRA for all other Committee Chairs be set at 0.4 x Basic;


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


                                         10+ meetings           0.13 x Basic; and

                                         5 9 meetings         0.07 x Basic;


(i)      that the SRA for the Civic Mayor be 0.4 x Basic;


5.      that the Panel’s recommendation for the SRA for the Leaders of Political Groups £392 per member of the group (excluding the Leader of the Political Group) be not accepted and in order to bring this SRA in line with the same approach i.e. applying a multiplier to the rest of the SRAs, that the SRA for the Leaders of Political Groups be set at 0.04 x Basic per member of the group (excluding the Leader of the Political Group);


6.      that Schedule 1 be amended to include the ability for those members with an SRA to claim mileage, subsistence and carers allowance, where that member is representing the Council at a formal external meeting in that capacity (including any members if they are acting as an approved substitute as notified by the relevant Group Leader to the Head of Governance Support in advance of the meeting);


7.      that the remaining recommendations of the IRP as set out below be approved:


(a)       that the rates for travel and subsistence be the same as those set in the Torbay Council Expenses Policy for officers and be paid for all Approved Duties;


(b)       that the list of Approved Duties be expanded to include:


(i)         internal Cabinet/Senior Officer meetings (Cabinet and Directors meeting (CAD))

(ii)        internal cross party governance meetings with Councillors and Senior Officers, for example, Council Leadership Group; and

(iii)       attendance at LGA Boards (for Torbay Councillors) who are members of those Boards but not appointed by Torbay Council.


(c)       that Members be limited to claiming only one Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA);


(d)       that the Co-optees Allowance increase to £140;


(e)       that the Independent Person for Audit Committee should receive £1,000 per annum; and


(f)        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;


8.       that Schedule 1 and 2 of the Members’ Allowances Scheme be updated to enable members who are not the appointed member of that body to claim mileage and carers allowance (but excluding subsistence allowance) for attendance in person at meetings of the following, as set out below:


(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; and

(e)       scrutiny review panels;


9.      that the Head of Governance Support, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Tourism, Culture & Events and Corporate Services and Director of Finance, be authorised to update Members’ Allowances Scheme with the changes outlined in 1. to 8. above; and


10.    that the changes to the Members’ Allowances Scheme as a result of 2 to 7. above be implemented from 9 May 2023 and change as a result of 8. apply from 1 January 2024.


(Note:  Councillor Harvey left the meeting prior to consideration of this item.)

Supporting documents: