Councillors get increase in allowances

By Tony Earnshaw
Local Democracy Reporter

MEMBERS of Kirklees Council will receive a two per cent increase in their allowances from April 1.

That means the basic amount paid to each elected councillor will go up to £13,627 – an increase of £267.

The move will bring councillors’ payments into line with a similar increase earmarked for council officers, which will also come into effect from next month and run until March 31, 2020.

The rise follows a recommendation by the Members Allowances Independent Review Panel (MAIRP), which met in November last year to advise the council on the appropriate level of remuneration.

They looked at the roles councillors are expected to fulfil, the varying roles of different councillors, and practice elsewhere and other local authorities.

On top of his basic allowance council leader Shabir Pandor will see his special responsibility allowance go up from £25,155 to £25,658.

The deputy leader’s allowance increases to £19,243 from £18,866. Veteran Coun David Sheard is stepping down at this May’s elections.

Cabinet members Couns Peter McBride, Graham Turner, Naheed Mather, Viv Kendrick, Masood Ahmed and Musarrat Khan will receive an increase of £245, taking their individual allowances to £12,519.

The chair of the council’s overview and scrutiny management committee, Coun Julie Stewart-Turner, and Group leaders with more than 30 members (Coun Pandor) will each receive £11,267.

Group leaders with seven to 29 members (Coun David Hall for the Conservatives, Coun John Lawson for the Lib Dems) get £10,016, as do business managers for groups with more than 30 members (Coun Mohan Sokhal for Labour).

Business managers for groups with 20-29 councillors receive £7,512. The Conservatives currently have 18 councillors in the chamber.

Chairs of planning committees (Couns Steve Hall, Terry Lyons, Paul Kane) receive £6,620 as do lead members of scrutiny panels (Couns Cahal Burke, Liz Smaje, Gulfam Asif, Rob Walker).

Members of West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel (Couns Amanda Pinnock for Labour, Andrew Pinnock for the Lib Dems) each receive £6,120.

Business managers for groups with seven to 19 councillors (Coun Cahal Burke for the Lib Dems) receive £5,009, as does the chair of the licensing and safety committee (Coun Carole Pattison for Labour).

Group leaders with two to six councillors (Coun Andrew Cooper for the Greens, Coun Charles Greaves for the Independents) receive £3,757. The same amount is paid to Coun John Taylor as deputy leader of the Conservative Group along with Coun Nosheen Dad as chair of the appeals panel.

The chair of the corporate governance and audit committee (Coun Hilary Richards) receives £2,503 as does Coun Eric Firth as chair of standards committee and Coun Karen Allison (Green Group business manager).

Adoption panel members receive £1,251. The day rate for fostering panel members is £116.

Members of the corporate governance and audit committee who met at Huddersfield Town Hall agreed to pass the MAIRP report to full council for approval.

However Coun Ken Sims (Con, Holme Valley South) highlighted that the standards committee, which met three times last year, cost £834 per meeting.

In response Julie Muscroft, the council’s legal, governance and commissioning officer, said there had been an increase in complaints and issues raised around standards and that the figure did not just relate to attendance but also workload and the chair’s role in decision-making.

Payment of the standards allowance will be reviewed after 12 months.

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