Welwyn Hatfield councillors set to discuss potential allowances increase

PUBLISHED: 11:32 19 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:47 19 September 2018

Cash money

Cash money

Archant

Welwyn Hatfield Council representatives could be about to get a pay increase and be eligible for a new care allowance.

In a report to be discussed by Full Council this evening (Wednesday, September 19), an independent remuneration panel has recommended that members get a two per cent rise in basic allowance and special responsibility allowance.

The basic annual pay would increase from £5,051 to £5,152, meaning that overall the council leader would now get £20,203, while Cabinet members would pocket £15,021.

The leaders of the first and second opposition parties would get £10,891 and £7,440 respectively.

In the report, officers wrote: “Since the review by the panel of the level of allowances for 2013/14, it had adopted the convention to recommend annual increases in line with the National Joint Council for Local Government Services’ annual employee pay award, and this approach had been agreed by the council.

“Before then allowances had been frozen since 2008/09.

“In 2016 the panel revisited the increases in allowances recommended by the review, previously undertaken by an independent consultant in 2009, and agreed increases to move towards the Hertfordshire median rates.”

This week, the panel has also recommended that a new care allowance be introduced, which would see members be able to claim against the cost of a child or dependent adult while on official duties.

The report notes: “The panel agreed to recommend to the council that maximum hourly rates of £7.83 for childcare for children up to 14 years of age, and £11.83 for dependent care, could be claimed with a cap of 20 hours per week for official duties.”

They include attendance at council meetings during the evenings, committee meetings and those where the councillor is the local authority’s appointed representative.

The allowance would be administered on the basis that claims must be supported by a valid receipt and submitted on the member monthly expenses form.

Payments to other members of the household would be excluded.

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