The chairmen of Birmingham City Council’s 10 District Committees are to receive a 179% pay rise to reflect the new responsibilities that they will have to take on under Labour’s administrative shake-up.
At the moment, the chairman of a Constituency Committee receives a special allowance of £3,776.
But under the new system and a name-change, the District Committee chairmen will be paid almost three times as much at £10,574.
The increase was proposed by the Independent Remuneration Panel following talks with new council leader Sir Albert Bore and his deputy Ian Ward and will be on top of a basic councillor allowance of £16,267 – putting each of the district committee chairmen on a total of £26,841.
The panel said the new rate would be set at an “interim” level and reviewed at the end of the municipal year when a view could be taken about the amount of additional work undertaken by the district committee chairs.
Under Labour’s changed governance arrangements, District Committees will take on responsibility for a range of extra duties including housing management. The 10 chairmen are executive members with the right to attend cabinet meetings.
Other changes mean that some posts will no longer warrant special responsibility allowances, or are to be abolished. The council’s total bill for paying councillors’ allowances will be reduced by £70,000.
Some new posts attract special payments including the Employment and HR Committee, whose chairman, Coun Muhammed Afzal (Lab Aston), will receive an allowance of £14,803.
The chairman of the new Licensing and Public Protection Committee, Barbara Dring (Lab Oscott), will also be paid £14,803.
Some posts are to be downgraded. The chairman of the main scrutiny committee will suffer a pay cut from £19,728 to £12,689, while allowance paid to the chairman of the Trusts and Charities Committtee will be reduced from £12,689 to £5,659.
Remuneration panel chairman Sandra Cooper said: “We are considering these changes at the beginning of a municipal year. Evidence of how the new posts and changed responsibilities will be performed in practice is not yet available.
“The only road open to us, therefore, was to consider the rationale behind the changes and expectations for the year ahead. Our conclusions are therefore interim in nature, subject to review during our next annual exercise, when we will expect to see clear performance information.”
The new pay rates are expected to be confirmed at the next full council meeting.