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Councillors’ pay policy in tatters after wage cuts proposal is rejected

Councillors’ pay policy in tatters after wage cuts proposal is rejected

🕔04.Sep 2014

The future of Birmingham council’s independent remuneration committee is in doubt after city leaders flatly rejected reforms to the system of allowances that would have resulted in significant pay cuts for some councillors.

A report from the panel setting out proposals for a new way of working out special responsibility allowances for cabinet members and committee chairs will not now be voted on at this month’s full council meeting and has been withdrawn from the agenda.

In what appears to be a breakdown in the relationship between the panel and the council, leaders of the three political groups threw out a planned 18 per cent cut in special responsibility allowances paid to 40 councillors that would have saved £100,000 a year.

It’s understood that council leader Sir Albert Bore urged panel chair Sandra Cooper to reconsider the proposals.

But the panel refused to budge and said it would not look at the allowances for another year.

The panel’s “root and branch” review of the payments took two years to complete, but is now in tatters.

It took a radical fresh look at the work carried out by recipients of SRAs and concluded that a number of councillors were being overpaid for the responsibility they shouldered.

Employment committee chair Mohammed Afzal stood to lose 60 per cent of his SRA.

Ten district committee chairs would have seen their salaries cut by 43 per cent, while cabinet members stood to lose just over 10 per cent.

The council business management committee, chaired by Sir Albert, said the panel’s report contained many inaccuracies and members had failed to understand the roles carried out by those in receipt of SRAs.

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