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Election of Chairman
To elect a Chairman of the Panel for the duration of the meeting. There is no appointed chairman of the Panel, as the appointment of a chairman is agreed at each meeting.
The Democratic Services Manager reminded members that there was no appointed chairman of the Panel, as the appointment of a chairman was agreed at each meeting.
That D. Jackman be elected as Chairman of the Panel for the duration of the meeting.
Declaration of Interests
To declare interests in any item on the agenda for the meeting, pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.
No interests in any item on the agenda for the meeting were declared by members of the Panel, pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 28 September 2016.
That the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 28 September 2016 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
That the Panel consider a proposal of Chigwell Parish Council for revision to its existing remuneration scheme.
In March 2004, the Panel considered and agreed a proposal of Chigwell Parish Council for the introduction of a remuneration scheme comprising a Parish Basic Allowance of £500.00 per annum for the Chairman of the Parish Council and a Parish Basic Allowance of £50.00 per annum for all other members of the Council. A copy of a report of the Panel in connection with its consideration of such remuneration scheme is attached as Appendix 1 to this agenda, although it appears from a decision of the Parish Council of 12 November 2003, that it was actually intended that the allowance for the Chairman be set at £600.00 per annum, in addition to a contingency sum of £300.00 per annum.
The remuneration scheme approved by the Panel in 2004 also provides entitlement for members of Chigwell Parish Council to claim travel allowances in relation to official business of the Council. However, the Clerk to the Parish Council has advised that such allowances have not been claimed by any member of the Parish Council during at least the last five years.
The Parish Council has submitted proposals for revision to its existing remuneration scheme, which are detailed at Appendix 2 to this agenda. The Clerk to the Parish Council has confirmed the following matters in relation to the proposals of the Council:
(a) that no changes have previously been made to the remuneration scheme proposed in 2003/2004, whereby the Chairman of the Parish Council receives an annual allowance of £600.00 (plus the contingency sum of £300.00);
(b) that no changes have previously been made to the existing Remuneration Scheme, whereby members of the Parish Council receive an annual basic allowance of £50.00;
(c) that the net increase to the Parish Council arising from the implementation of the proposed revisions to the Remuneration Scheme would be £800.00 per annum; and
(d) that members of the Parish Council will continue to be able to receive a travel allowances as part of the proposed revisions to the remuneration scheme.
There is no national benchmarking data available for the application of remuneration schemes by town and parish councils. Copies of the existing schemes operated by the larger town and parish councils within the Epping Forest District are attached as Appendix 3. A majority of the smaller town and parish councils in the District do not operate remuneration schemes.
The Panel is requested to consider the proposal of Chigwell Parish Council for revision to its existing remuneration scheme.
The Panel considered a proposal of Chigwell Parish Council for revision to its existing remuneration scheme.
The Democratic Services Manager reminded the Panel that, in March 2004, it had agreed a proposal of Chigwell Parish Council for the introduction of a remuneration scheme comprising a Parish Basic Allowance of £500.00 per annum for the Chairman of the Parish Council and a Parish Basic Allowance of £50.00 per annum for all other members of the Council. The Panel noted that Chigwell Parish Council had requested consideration of proposals for the payment of a parish basic allowance of £100.00 per annum to each member of the Parish Council and that its remuneration scheme also provided entitlement for members of the Parish Council to claim travel allowances in relation to official business of the Council.
The Panel interpreted the proposals of the Parish Council as also including provision for payment of Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA), in addition to the basic allowance, as follows:
(a) an SRA of £300.00 per annum to be payable to the Chairman of the Parish Council;
(b) an SRA of £100.00 per annum to be payable to the Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council;
(c) an SRA of £50.00 per annum to be payable to the Chairmen of the seven Working Committees of the Parish Council.
In determining its approach to the level of parish basic allowance, the Panel examined the remuneration scheme for Epping Forest District Council, which currently provided an annual basic allowance of £4,300.00 for each member of the Council. Members were advised that the Local Authorities (Members' Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 required the Panel to recommend that a parish basic allowance be set as a percentage of the District Council’s figure, as well as a cash sum. The Panel considered that such percentage may be 100% and that this effectively set an upper limit on the parish basic allowance of £4,300.00 per parish member.
The Panel also considered the percentage of Epping Forest District Council’s total expenditure on allowances, compared to its annual precept for Council Tax purposes. The Democratic Services Manager reported that the total estimated expenditure for 2019/20 in this regard was £367,970.00, which represented 4.46% of the total precept of £8,257,142.00 for the year. This approach provided the Panel with two parameters on which to advise parish and town councils and members considered that the precept percentage applied to allowances at District level should form the upper limit for parish allowances and that no parish or town council should provide a parish basic allowance that cost more than 4.46% of their total precept. The Panel emphasised that, alongside this guideline, parish and town councils must bear in mind that they were only able to provide the parish basic allowance up to 100% of the figure provided at district level (££4,300.00).
The Panel was satisfied that the proposals of Chigwell Parish Council for a revised parish basic allowance and SRA could be accommodated within this framework and that that parish allowances should not exceed ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Any Other Business
To consider any additional items of business for the meeting.
The Democratic Services Manager reported that there were no additional items of business for consideration at the meeting
Date of Next Meeting
To consider arrangements for future meetings of the Panel, if required.
The Panel agreed that arrangements for future meetings be considered as and when required.