Decision details

Governance Committee: Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


64.1     The Council considered the report of the Independent Remuneration Panel and recommendations for the scheme of allowances and expenses from May 2021, in the light of a report from the Governance Committee (pages 63 to 96).


64.2     An amendment was moved by Cllr M Jones and seconded by Cllr Walsh.


The Labour Group and the Liberal Democrat Group generally welcomes the report of the Panel and thanks the Panel for its work during its review of the Member Allowance Scheme. The Labour Group and the Liberal Democrat Group support the Panel’s recommendations about sustainability as a move to reducing the County Council’s carbon footprint, to support our climate change emergency.


The Labour Group and the Liberal Democrat Group welcomes the IRP’s recommendation to freeze allowances in 2021/22 in view of the ‘present economic environment in which Council services are being increasingly severely restricted, and constituents are suffering with furlough, loss of business income and possible looming unemployment’ (paragraph 31).  This is further re-enforced by the decision by the Government to impose a public sector pay freeze for public sector workers which includes all of the workers in services that the county council employs.


In light of this, the Labour Group and the Liberal Democrat Group recognises that recommendations (m) and (p) in the Panel’s report may lead to reductions in the special responsibility allowance paid to some future postholders in the roles of senior advisers to cabinet members and minority group leaders.


However, the Labour Group and the Liberal Democrat Group have become concerned that there is an overall lack of consistency in the report relating to the treatment of special responsibility allowances.  If it is appropriate to reduce the aforementioned allowances, then it believes it is also appropriate to apply a similar reduction by the same effective amount.


The Labour Group and the Liberal Democrat Group therefore puts forward the following amendment to the Governance Committee’s recommendation, in the light of the severe financial pressures and in order to ensure consistency with all special responsibility allowances for councillors, which could save £88,290 compared to the current cost of special responsibility allowances. Combined with the potential reductions in minority group leader of £4,285 and senior adviser to cabinet members’ allowances of £7,324, this could total £99,809.


‘That the Independent Remuneration Panel’s report and recommendations be approved, but the Council agrees to go further than the IRP’s recommended approach to freeze allowances and thereby agrees to reduce the special responsibility allowances paid to the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Leader, Cabinet Members, Committee Chairmen and Foster Panel members by 25% in May 2021. This would have consequential amendments to the IRP’s recommendations (g)-(k).


An extract from Schedule 1 of the Member Allowance Scheme is shown below, illustrating the effect of the proposed amendment.


Schedule 1


Special Responsibility Allowances



Allowance per member

£ per annum

Chairman of the County Council


Leader of the Council


Vice-Chairman of the County Council


Cabinet Member (and Deputy Leader)


Cabinet Member for Adults and Health


Cabinet Member for Children and Young People


Cabinet Member for Economy and Corporate Resources


Cabinet Member for Education and Skills


Cabinet Member for Environment


Cabinet Member for Finance


Cabinet Member for Fire & Rescue and Communities


Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure


Leaders of Minority Parties with at least three members**


Leaders of Large Minority Parties with at least 15 members*


Leaders of Medium Minority Parties (five to 14 members)*


Leaders of Small Minority Parties (three to four members)*


Chairman of the Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee


Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Services Scrutiny Committee


Chairman of the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee


Chairman of the Fire & Rescue Service Scrutiny Committee


Chairman of the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee


Chairman of the Planning and Rights of Way Committee


Chairman of the Regulation, Audit and Accounts Committee


Senior Adviser to a Cabinet Member


Adviser to a Cabinet Member*

4,397 3,640

Member of the Fostering Panel


* and ** reflect the IRP’s recommended levels.’


64.3     The amendment was put to a recorded vote under Standing Order 35.5.


(a)      For the amendment – 11


Cllr Buckland, Cllr N Dennis, Cllr M Jones, Cllr Lord, Cllr Millson, Cllr O’Kelly, Cllr Oppler, Cllr Oxlade, Cllr Purchese, Cllr Quinn and Cllr Smytherman.


(b)      Against the amendment – 40


Cllr Acraman, Cllr Atkins, Cllr Baldwin, Cllr Barnard, Cllr Barrett-Miles, Cllr Bennett, Cllr Boram, Cllr Bradbury, Cllr Burrett, Cllr Catchpole, Cllr Crow, Cllr J Dennis, Cllr Duncton, Cllr Elkins, Cllr Hillier, Cllr Hunt, Cllr A Jones, Cllr A Jupp, Cllr N Jupp, Cllr Kennard, Cllr Kitchen, Cllr Lanzer, Cllr Magill, Cllr Markwell, Cllr Marshall, Cllr McDonald, Cllr Mitchell, Cllr Montyn, Cllr R J Oakley, Cllr S J Oakley, Cllr Patel, Cllr Pendleton, Cllr Purnell, Cllr Russell, Cllr Sparkes, Cllr Turner, Cllr Urquhart, Cllr Waight, Cllr Whittington and Cllr Wickremaratchi.


(c)      Abstentions – 8


Cllr Arculus, Cllr Bradford, Cllr Bridges, Cllr Brunsdon, Cllr Burgess, Cllr Edwards, Cllr Fitzjohn and Cllr Sudan.


Cllr Barling, Cllr Barton, Cllr Cloake, Cllr Goldsmith, Cllr Hall, Cllr High, Cllr Lea, Cllr Smith, Cllr Simmons and Cllr Walsh were absent for the vote.


64.4     The amendment was lost.


64.5     Resolved –


That the Independent Remuneration Panel’s report and recommendations, as set out at Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.

Publication date: 05/01/2021

Date of decision: 11/12/2020

Decided at meeting: 11/12/2020 - County Council

Accompanying Documents: