Venue: Civic Suite, North Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP
Contact: Democratic and Electoral Services
Election of Chair
1.1 In the absence of the Chair and Vice Chair, Councillor Kubaszczyk moved that Councillor Hilton be appointed as Chair for the meeting. Councillor Evans seconded the nomination.
1.2 RESOLVED – That Councillor Hilton be appointed as Chair for the meeting.
Declarations of Interest
To receive from Members, declarations of the existence of any disclosable pecuniary, or non-pecuniary, interests and the nature of those interests in relation to any agenda item. Please see Agenda Notes.
2.1 There were no declarations of interest.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2022.
3.1 The minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2022 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Public Question Time (15 minutes)
To receive any questions from members of the public, provided that questions do not contravene the provisions set out Council Procedure Rule 10(2).
To ask a question at this meeting, please submit it to email@example.com by 12 noon on Friday 6 January 2023 or telephone 01452 396203 for support.
4.1 There were no public questions.
Petitions and Deputations (15 minutes)
To receive any petitions and deputations provided that no such petition or deputation is in relation to:
· Matters relating to individual Council Officers, or
· Matters relating to current or pending legal proceedings
5.1 There were no petitions or deputations.
To consider the report of the Chair of the Independent Remuneration Panel concerning the Scheme of Members’ Allowances for 2022/23 and the review of Members’ allowances in respect of the Scheme of Members’ Allowances for 2023/24.
6.1 The Chair welcomed Mr Graham Russell, Chair of the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) to the meeting and invited him to present the Panel’s report and recommendations.
6.2 Mr Russell thanked Members for their co-operation with the review of Members’ allowances, through surveys and interviews, and summarised the Panel’s recommendations as follows:
· In view of the flat rate increase awarded to local government officers instead of the usual percentage, an increase of 4.04% was recommended for the 2022/23 Scheme of Allowances, to be backdated to 1 April 2022.
· No further increase was recommended for the 2023/24 Scheme of Allowances, however, the scheme would remain linked to the Local Government Pay Award and would be kept under review in the run up to the 2024 City Council elections.
· It was recommended that the Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) for the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee be increased to the same level as the Chair of Planning Committee is view of the significance of the role.
· It was recommended that the SRA for the Chair of the General Purposes Committee be deleted as the ad hoc nature of the meetings mean that the responsibilities were covered by the expectations of all Members in receipt of a Basic Allowance.
· It was recommended that the council consider implementing a framework for the role of Member Champions.
6.3 The Chair referred to the comparative data on the number of residents per councillor for Cheltenham Borough and Cotswold District Councils and noted that, if this was taken into account when setting Gloucester’s allowances, it would provide for a Basic Allowance of £6,600-6,700 before taking into account the proposed 4.04% uplift for 2022/23. He suggested that SRAs should be paid for some of the council’s more onerous Outside Body roles and noted that some councils did not follow the one SRA per Member rule. He stated that he did not have a clear understanding of the roles of Member Champions and that they shouldn’t attract an SRA, and he spoke in support of increasing the SRA for the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
6.4 Councillor Kubaszczyk confirmed his support for the Panel’s recommendations and in particular, increasing the SRA for the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee and establishing a framework for Member Champion roles.
6.5 Mr Russell advised that the one SRA per Member rule was common practice, but not a requirement, and that the Panel were not suggesting that Member Champion roles should be remunerated, only that a framework would be beneficial. He thanked Members for their comments and reiterated that it was the Panel’s intention to consider bringing forward further changes ahead of the 2024 elections, so that they would be in place for the new Council.
6.6 RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL - that the recommendations contained in the Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel (Appendices 1 and 2) be approved.