Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 13th March 2014
Title of Item/Report
Members Allowances
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that provided details of the Independent Remuneration Panel's ("the Panel") recommendations following the decision at Council on 12 June 2013 approving a review of Members' Allowances, in order to target at least 15% (130K) savings by 2015/16 onwards.

At full Council on 12 June 2013, as part of the Medium Term Financial Plan - Big Ticket Update and Savings proposals report, it was agreed that a review of Members' Allowances should be undertaken to target at least 15% (130K) savings by 2015/16.

In accordance with this decision, the Authority's Independent Remuneration Panel ("the Panel") undertook a review of Members' Allowances during October and November 2013. The Panel had concluded the review and produced a report. A copy of the Panel's report was attached to the report.

The Members' Advisory Panel ("MAP") considered the Panel's Members' Allowances report at its meeting on 31 January 2014. Details of comments made at the meeting were attached to the report.

Cabinet was asked to consider the report and the proposals for achieving the Council's target of at least 15% (130K) savings on Members Allowances.

Although not part of the Panel's remit, the Panel's report offered some advice on potential changes to the Authority's governance structure, in order to produce additional savings on Members' Allowances.

Paragraphs 6.2 and 6.3 of the report referred to the "general feeling … that Cabinet could be reduced by at least two Members…" and "general agreement that the number of select committees should be reduced significantly…."

These suggestions reflected potential savings proposals referred to previously by the Leader of the Council. It was therefore proposed to present a separate report to Cabinet in that respect in due course, so that appropriate recommendations could be made regarding possible changes in 2015/16 onwards.

At the Council meeting on 26 February 2014, as part of the decisions relating to the Council's 2014/2015 budget and Council Tax, it was agreed that Members' Allowances should be frozen for 2014/15. A copy of the proposed Scheme for 2014/15 was attached to the report.

RECOMMENDED to Council that:-

1. The Panel's report be noted.

2. The Panel be thanked for its work.

3. The proposals for achieving the Council's target of at least 15% (130K) savings be considered.
Reasons for the Decision
The Members' Allowances Regulations require local authorities to change existing schemes and make new schemes following a review by and consideration of recommendations from an Independent Remuneration Panel (unless no changes to an existing scheme are proposed).

At the Council's request the Panel has undertaken a review of allowances and has made recommendations in that respect, for the purposes of the Members' Allowances Scheme for 2015/16.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Each of the members present declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 12 - Members Allowances as they were recipients of / entitled to receive such allowances.
Details of any Dispensations
N/A
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
N/A
Attachment

Date of Publication: 17 March 2014


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