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Birmingham city councillors cash in with 25 per cent pay rise

Birmingham city councillors cash in with 25 per cent pay rise

🕔19.Oct 2015

Birmingham city council’s ten district and five scrutiny committee chairs are in line for a 25 per cent pay rise.

The increases, recommended by an independent remuneration committee, will be backdated to May if the proposal is approved at the next full council meeting.

A shake-up of allowances paid to councillors with special responsibilities was announced this year, with a recommendation that a new evaluation system should be followed. That led to a pay cut for committee chairs, and the panel report was accepted in full by the council.

Since then the panel has been considering the impact of changes to the roles and responsibilities of councillors as a result of the Kerslake Review, which changed the way scrutiny and district committees work.

The panel originally wanted to set the Special responsibilities Allowance (SRA) for scrutiny chairs at 20 per cent of the leader of the council’s £50,000 pay packet – making the allowance £10,000.

After reconsidering the workload faced by scrutiny chairs, the panel is recommending the SRA be set at 25 per cent of the leader’s salary – making the allowance £12,500.

The panel had proposed setting the SRA for district committee chairs at 12 per cent of the leader’s salary – making the allowance £6,000. It’s recommended the allowance be increased to 15 per cent of the leader’s salary – making the new figure £7,500.

The SRA allowances are paid on top of a basic £16,267 allowance for all members, making Birmingham councillors the best rewarded of any English public authority.

Panel chair Sandra Cooper said she had heard evidence that the wider remits of scrutiny committees following the Kerslake Review warranted a higher special responsibility allowance.

Similarly, district chairs have been given enhanced “leadership” roles and are responsible for “driving forward partnership working” and deserved a higher allowance.

Ms Cooper added:

Evidence was also taken on the new role overview & scrutiny committee chairs would have in relation to working with district committees, particularly through the Neighbourhood Challenge. This has yet to be fully understood, and the panel will review its operation in future reports.

The new allowances rates are to be applied with effect from 19th May 2015:

Leader of the council £50,000 plus £16,267 basic allowance: £66,267

Deputy leader £40,000 plus £16,267: £56,267

Cabinet members £25,000 plus £16,267: £41,267

Chair of the Planning Committee £15,000 plus £16,267: £31,267

Chair of the Licensing & Public Protection Committee £15,000 plus £16,267: £31,267

Leader of the Largest Qualifying Opposition Group £12,500 plus £16,267: £28,767

Chair of Overview & Scrutiny Committees £12,500 plus £16,267: £28,767

Executive Member for Local Services (district committee chair) £7,500 plus £16,267: £23,767

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