Agenda and minutes
Chairmen's and Vice-Chairmen's Allowances
The Panel was advised that the Leader had asked for clarification on their recommendation concerning allowances to be paid to the new Chairmen of Policy and Overview Committees (POC) and the reduction in allowances for Vice-Chairmen.
Glyn Thomson suggested to the Panel that they consider setting a series of rates for special responsibility allowances based on a proportion of the Chairmen's allowance (which was equivalent to the basic allowance). Mr Thomson also explained what the role of the POC Chairmen is and commented that the role of POC Chairmen was, greater than that of Vice-Chairmen. He added that the Vice-Chairman of the Overview Scrutiny Committee possibly had more work to do than other Vice-Chairmen and this could justify an additional allowance.
The Panel supported the idea of setting scales for different types of Chairmanship and Vice?Chairmanship and after some discussion the following was recommended:-
Chairmen (existing) - 100 per cent
POC Chairmen - 50 per cent
Vice-Chairman of Overview Scrutiny - 35 per cent
Other Vice-Chairmen - 25 per cent
Level of Allowances
Mr Thomson suggested that the Panel might wish to set a cost of living increase for Members' Allowances similar to that payable for the staff in their annual salary award.
The Panel was concerned that the allowances payable in Gravesham were generally below the average for other councils in the South East and they wished to carry out a more detailed review of this later in the year. They asked that comparative figures for similar sized authorities in other parts of the country be obtained and also that information be provided from Members of the Council about the amount of time they spent on various activities. There would also need to be an update of the South East Employers schedule of allowances for consideration.
The Panel recommended that an uplift of allowances for the municipal year 2008/09 be based on the staff salary award due in April 2008. The Panel also advised the Council that they would be conducting a general review of the levels of allowances later in the year in order to make recommendations for 2009/10.