The subject of councillors’ remuneration is a hot topic in the national news this morning, with the all-party Local Government Select Committee unanimously calling for higher allowances to encourage more people to get involved with local government.
The argument in favour of increasing allowances is to provide the opportunity for those not in a position of personal wealth to be able to take part in shaping how their local council operates.
Island councillors’ allowances
Here on the Isle of Wight, there is often a mistaken view that county councillors receive huge allowances, in the tens of thousands of pounds per annum, but this is far from the case for most of them.
The general allowance for an Island county councillor is £7,903 per annum. Some councillors are retired, others continue in paid work alongside their councillor duties, whilst at least one (as far as we’re aware) lives solely on his allowance, dedicating himself to his role full time.
Those who chair meetings receive an additional figure (see table below) and the Leader of the council receives £23,709 plus his allowances.
Recommendation to freeze allowances for 2012/13
Councillors at next week’s full council meeting will be asked to vote on a proposal by the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) to freeze the general allowance at the current figure.
The IRP has undertaken a review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme in the light of the prevailing economic circumstances. As well as the allowance freeze, they are also recommending “a full and thorough review of all the allowances be undertaken after the election in 2013, particularly as the last full review was undertaken in 2009”.
|Chairman of the Council||£5,532|
|Vice Chairman of the Council||£1,580|
|Overview & Scrutiny Committee Chairman||£5,532|
|Scrutiny Panel Chairman||£5,532|
|Audit Committee Chairman||£3,951|
|Planning Committee Chairman||£7,903|
|Planning Committee Vice Chairman||£1,580|
|Licensing & General Purposes Committee Chairman||£6,322|
|Leaders of Groups with four or more members||£1,580|
|Chairman of Regulatory Committee||£10,274|
|Vice Chairman of Regulatory Committee||£3,952|
|Appeals Committee Chairman||£1,580|
Report on allowances
Full details are outlined in the paper below (embedded for your convenience).
Image: © Tax Brackets