THERE was some confusion at the council meeting on Tuesday but clarified by discussions between the parties after the meeting.
Councillors are prohibited from setting their own allowances and the level of pay and allocation of any special responsibility allowances must be based on recommendations from an Independent Remuneration Panel.
The IRP recommended a 2.4 per cent increase in the basic allowance of £7,800 but no increase in current special responsibility allowances. It did however recommend that the chairman of the licensing committee should be added to the posts eligible for a special responsibility allowance.
The Council’s all-party governance committee unanimously agreed that it was not appropriate for councillors to accept the 2.4 per cent. It therefore proposed to council that the allowances are frozen for 2010/11 but that the IRP’s recommendation of an allowance for the chairman of licensing be approved.
At full council the leader of the Liberal Democrat group proposed increases in allowances should be linked directly to the national pay awards for local government staff.
It was pointed out that this could put the council in breach of legislation if the pay award exceeded the level recommended by the IRP and the proposal was rejected.
Leader of Council