Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council agrees to raise allowances

PUBLISHED: 14:05 08 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:05 08 January 2020

Councillors voting for the motion. Picture: WHBC

Councillors voting for the motion. Picture: WHBC

Archant

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council passed a vote to raise members' basic and special responsibility allowances (SRA) by two per cent following a council meeting yesterday.

The level of allowances for opposition group leaders was also increased in order to more fairly reflect political balance of the parties and their additional work undertaken in the current period of no overall control.

A two per cent rise for care allowances was agreed as well - although no claims have been made by members since its introduction in the 2018/19 municipal year.

The rises come from the recommendation of the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) - who are responsible for determining the level of payments to elected members of the council.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Jonathon Boulton said: "While I would agree, it is appropriate because it has been set by an independent committee and it is also appropriate because it's in line with inflation.

"Members should give serious consideration as to whether they should agree to this."

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The motion passed comfortably with 38 for, one against and nine abstentions.

Taking effect from July 1 2019, the basic allowance will rise from £5,051 to £5,152 per year, paid in monthly instalments of £429.33.

A new calculation was introduced where each opposition group leader receives an allowance calculated from 50 per cent of the basic allowance plus £225 for each group member.

The previous calculation was 75 per cent of basic allowance plus £125 for each group member for the first opposition group leader, and 25 per cent of basic allowance and £125 for each group member and for the second opposition group leader.

The SRA, which is granted in addition to BSA, is now £15,455 for the leader of the council, £10,817 for the deputy leader and £9,870 for cabinet members.

To view the full list of SRAs click here.

The council also accepted the recommendation for IRP officers to carry out a full review of all SRAs for the financial year in 2020/21.

The council noted that a recruitment process will take place for new members to the IRP, as one of the officers has indicated their intention to resign following this latest review.

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