Bid to increase Rother councillors’ allowance

Bexhill Town Hall SUS-150207-140256001
Bexhill Town Hall SUS-150207-140256001

Rother councillors are being asked to approve a one per cent increase in members’ allowances.

Members at the council’s cabinet meeting on Monday (January 18), will be asked to agree to increase the basic allowance from £4,237 to £4,280 per year.

The change was suggested by the independent remunerations panel.

“The panel’s view was that the basic allowance should still reflect the voluntary service to the community aspect of the councillor role and therefore a proportion of time should be given on that basis,” said the report by Malcolm Johnston.

However, the report added allowances had remained the same since 2010 and ‘inflationary pressures’ needed to be acknowledged.

“In making its recommendations the panel was very conscious of the continued demands on the council’s budget,” said the report.

“However, the continuation of not increasing allowances was felt to be unacceptable.”

The proposed one per cent increase for 2016/17 is linked to staff pay awards.

Special allowances would also increase, for example, the leader’s allowance would increase from £12,376 to £12,500 and a cabinet member’s allowance would increase from £2,692 to £2,719.

Childcare allowance is also set to increase from £6.50 to £7 an hour.

“It was considered to be set too low for the area, being an important allowance in encouraging all members of the community to stand for council,” said the report.

All other allowances will remain the same with general mileage and subsistence rates staying in line with HMRC recommended levels.

The recommendations mean an overall increase in the budget of £2,086 for 2016/17.

Cabinet members will discuss the proposals at their meeting at Bexhill Town Hall from 11am on Monday (January 18).

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