Skip to content

H1 - do not remove

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room B12. View directions

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chairman

Minutes:

Mr T I Whitaker was nominated and seconded as Chairman for the meeting.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Mr T I Whittaker be appointed Chairman of the Independent Remuneration Panel for the remainder of the 2019-20 Municipal Year.

 

,

2.

Apologies for Absence.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest.

To receive declarations of interest from Members including the terms(s) of the Grant of Dispensation (if any) by the Audit Board or Managing Director.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

The Chairman also confirmed for the record that neither he nor any Panel Member was related to any serving Dartford Borough or Parish Councillor.

4.

Confirmation of the minutes of the meeting held on 16 November 2015 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Minutes:

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Minutes of the Panel meeting held on 16 November 2015 in which the Chairman, and Mr Hargrove and Mr Spencer participated, be confirmed as an accurate record of those proceedings.

5.

Review of Members' Allowances Scheme pdf icon PDF 189 KB

To receive a report from the Panel on Members’ Allowances.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report from the Financial Services Manager (FSM) asked the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) to consider and approve a draft report (attached as Appendix A) on the Panel’s review of the current Members’ Allowance Scheme for Dartford Council, for submission to the General Assembly of the Council (GAC) for consideration at its forthcoming meeting in January 2020.

 

The Panel had met informally on 9 occasions during 2019 to complete their independent review of the existing scheme of remuneration and allowances paid to Dartford Members.  The review process had involved taking evidence from, and entering into discussions with 6 Members of the Council to ensure that the Panel examined the different responsibilities that Councillors had, and the different views they held, regarding the current levels of remuneration, approved by the GAC on 14 December 2015 [Min. No. 73 refers].

 

Based on that information, the Panel had then determined the level of a Basic Allowance which must be made available to all Members of the Council, and considered the remuneration for those who held positions which carried significant additional responsibilities. The Panel had retained the view that the setting of the Special Responsibility Allowance for the Leader of the Council enabled a structure of other Special Responsibility Allowances to be constructed using the Leader’s allowance as the benchmark.

 

The methodology for all those calculations was set out in detail in the report [Appendix A paras 5-11 refer]. In reaching its conclusions, the IRP had had regard to the Local Authorities’ (Members Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 (as amended).

 

The Chairman expressed the Panel’s appreciation for the co-operation they had received from the Leader of the Council and other Councillors who had been interviewed during the review process.

 

The Panel had also been impressed by the dedication and commitment displayed by all Dartford Councillors in what was an increasingly demanding role, given the Borough’s demographics, its location adjacent to the south eastern boundary of the Greater London area, and its key position in the Thames Gateway development corridor to the east of London, which had seen Dartford benefit from substantial new development and regeneration measures. The Panel also noted the increasing demands social media placed on Councillors’ time.

 

The Chairman thanked his fellow Panel members for their work during the review and the Financial Services Manager for his guidance and input into the review process and the formulation of the Panel’s report.

 

 

            RESOLVED: To recommend to the General Assembly of the Council

 

1.         That the Panel’s report submitted as Appendix A to the covering report from the Financial Services Manager be submitted to the General Assembly of the Council for approval as submitted, with one point of clarification, as recorded in para 10 below.

 

2.         That from 1 April 2020, the Basic Members’ Allowance be subject to a modest increase, based on the expected employees’ pay award, from the current level of £5,306 to £5,439 [as set out in paragraph 5.5 of the report].

 

3.         That from 1 April 2020, Special Responsibility Allowances, as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Report of Parish Remuneration Panel pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To receive a report from the Panel on Parish Members’ Allowances.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The covering report from the Financial Services Manager (FSM) enclosed at Appendix A, a report from the Independent Remuneration Panel (acting in its role as Parish Remuneration Panel) which set out the results of their review of allowances which might be paid to Dartford parish/town councillors, for submission to those councils for their individual consideration.

 

Should individual parish/town councils decide to pay allowances to their Members, they were required to establish a scheme to do so. Any scheme should have regard to the recommendations in the Parish Remuneration Panel report [attached at Appendix A], which had been based on the Independent Remuneration Panel’s report on Borough Councillor’s allowances [Min. No. 5 refers].

 

In reaching its conclusions, the Parish Remuneration Panel (PRP) had had regard to the provisions of the Local Authorities’ (Member Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 (as amended), the previous report of the PRP submitted in 2003, plus extracts from a panel report from another area. The PRP had noted that under the 2003 Regulations, parish/town councils could only pay the following allowances to their Councillors:

 

·         basic allowances

·         travel allowance

·         subsistence allowance

 

The Panel had also noted that most Dartford parish/town councils paid no allowances to their Councillors, nor had they expressed a desire to do so.

 

The Chairman thanked his fellow Panel Members for their work during the review process and the Financial Services Manager for his continued help and guidance.

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the report of the Parish Remuneration Panel enclosed as Appendix A to the report from the Financial Services Manager, be submitted to individual Dartford Parish/Town Councils for their consideration, and implementation as considered appropriate.