Thursday's Full Council meeting will consider increasing councillors' allowance by 4.04% in line with the National Joint Council Government Services pay award.
Councillor's allowances are made up of 2 elements: a basic allowance for every councillor and an additional responsibility allowance when they take on a specific role (leadership, chair of committee etc). For the last couple of years only the basic allowance has been increased.
This year the proposal increases both as in the table below. In addition the second opposition group leader is given an annual allowance of £4,000 for the first time. (Click bottom right to enlarge)
The report on the proposal states:
The 2022, Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) for London Councils, report recognises the importance of the role played by elected members not only in terms of their representational role but also given the increasing challenges and demands in managing the delivery of local services and on the allocation of financial resources. The report highlights the increasingly difficult and complex nature of choices and work faced by local councillors in terms of managing these challenges and increasing level of demand on services. In addition, reference is made to the growth in other public sector activities including community safety, increasing expectations for closer working with health services and the voluntary sector, as well the growing role of councillors acting as a point of information, advice and reassurance for local communities. The report also recognises the increasing expectations of the public in terms of access to their local councillors supported by the growth in digital connectivity, social media etc.
While conscious of the above, the review also takes account of the continuing
financial challenges faced by local authorities. Having taken account of adjustments made in accordance with annual local government pay settlements over previous years, this led to the recommendation of a Basic Allowance set at £12,014. The current basic allowance payable under Brent’s Members Allowance Scheme is already comparable at £12,484.
The report from the Independent Panel for the Remuneration of Councillors in London reiterated its previous recommendation that members’ allowances should be uplifted annually in line with the pay settlement for employees and are therefore recommending that boroughs also use the 4.04% uplift for their member allowances. It is, however, up to each borough to determine the allowances it pays to members. On this basis, members are therefore asked to consider (following consultation with the Constitution Working Group) applying an uplift of 4.04% across the Basic and Special Responsibility Allowances within the Members Allowance Scheme for 2023/24. If this were to be agreed, it would mean an increase in the Basic Allowance from £12,484 to £12,988 (a difference of £504 for each of the 57 councillors).
proposals would increase the total councillors’ allowance costs by
£46,143. This, however, would be affected by any role changes made at the
Annual Meeting of the Council. You will have read the Conservative budget
proposal that the 4.04% rise should not be implemented and that the Cabinet
should be reduced by two members and the roles redistributed to the remaining Cabinet members.