Agenda item

To give consideration and decide upon the recommendation from Cabinet on 15 March 2022 on the Independent Review of Members Allowances.  The minute on this will follow.


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Councillor Dickinson proposed the recommendations from Cabinet on 15 March 2022, these were seconded by Councillor Dark.


Councillor Joyce proposed that the increases in the basic and special responsibility allowances be transferred into a local fund to assist those coming here from the Ukraine. 


The Monitoring Officer advised that it was not possible for the Council to take such a decision on behalf of all Councillors without all the individuals being present to approve it. 


Councillor Parish in speaking on the recommendation proposed an amendment that the existing basic allowances be frozen until April 2023 and the finance not paid through the increases be paid into an account to help Ukranians in the Borough needing assistance.


The Monitoring explained that the same advice applied as to not being able to take decisions on where the allowances of other members be channelled.


Councillor Rust proposed that the matter be deferred until a unanimous vote could be taken. This was seconded by Councillor de Whalley.  On being put to the vote this was lost.


The Monitoring Officer further advised that if members individually wished to pay to a charity on a voluntary basis they could do so but the Council could not compel that.


Councillor Morley proposed an amendment that the funds go to the Ukrainian crisis, to which the Monitoring officer re-iterated her previous advice.


Councillor Hudson proposed that special responsibility allowance be frozen for the entirety of the scheme, but the basic allowances be increased by  2.5% recommended.  This was seconded by Councillor Wilkinson.  Councillor Dickinson did not accept the amendment, Councillor Long moved that the question be put.  On being put to the vote the amendment was lost.


Councillor Morley suggested that Members register individually to donate their increases. It was noted that this would be a separate item, not for consideration at this meeting.


Councillor Long proposed that the question be put on the substantive motion.


The Monitoring Officer pointed out that on recommendation 4 from Cabinet because of the delay in considering the recommendations, it was not possible to pay within the current month, but that that the amount would be paid into the following financial year.  Councillor Dickinson agreed this suggestion.


A debate ensued on the payment of allowances and individual choices.


Councillor Dark addressed Council on the recommendations as seconder.


Councillor Dickinson summed up the debate reminding members that the proposed increase was 2.5% and that the SRA payments were attributable to a position, not individual people.


Councillor Howman, with the required number of supporters requested a recorded vote on the matter.





B Ayres

J Bhondi


L Bambridge

A Holmes


R Blunt

G Howman


C Bower

C Hudson


A  Bubb

B Jones


C Crofts

C Joyce


S Dark

B Lawton


I Devereux

C Morley


A Dickinson

T Parish


P Gidney

J Rust


G Hipperson

S Squire


M Howland

M de Whalley


H Humphrey

M Wilkinson


J Kirk



P Kunes



A Lawrence



B Long



J Lowe



C Manning



G Middleton



E Nockolds



C Rose



C Sampson



V Spikings



D Whitby







The recommendations were agreed.



RESOLVED:  1)         Having considered in detail the recommendations of the IRP, Council considers that there two issues for not making significant changes Members’ Allowances for the year commencing 1 April 2021. Firstly, the current financial climate is not propitious for increasing the overall sum paid to Councillors, which is the effect of the IRP’s review. Secondly, there have been significant changes to working practices as a result of the pandemic, with Councillors seeing a wholesale change of having to carry out all of their duties from home, with all meetings conducted viaonline means, i.e. Teams and Zoom. This has resulted in what might amount to permanent changes to working practices and therefore a review would be better conducted when those revisions have been fully evaluated.


2)            That existing allowances be increased in line with the inflationary increase of the officers’ pay award, effective from 1 April 2021.


3)            That in accordance with the Regulations, for a maximum period of the next 3 years commencing 2022/23, allowances should continue to be indexed in line with the officers’ pay award. This is in compliance with the Regulations. An IRP may be called at any time should the need arise or be otherwise appropriate but in any case will be called no later than autumn 2024 to conduct a further review and to report its findings in sufficient time to allow a revised scheme to be approved by Council, in accordance with the regulations, to come into effect on 1 April 2025.


4)            That the pecuniary implications be paid representing the current financial year.



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