Agenda and minutes

Parish Remuneration Panel
Wednesday, 28th September, 2016 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping. View directions

Contact: S. Tautz Tel: (01992) 564180  Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

7.

Election of Chairman

(Director of Governance) To elect a chairman for the meeting of the Panel.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That Ms. R. Kelly be elected as Chairman of the Remuneration Panel for the

duration of the meeting.

8.

Declaration of Interests

(Director of Governance) To declare interests in any item on the agenda for the meeting, pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.

 

Minutes:

Pursuant to the Council's Code of Member Conduct, D. Jackman declared a personal interest in agenda item 5 (Remuneration Scheme – Waltham Abbey Town Council), by virtue of being engaged in a commercial capacity by Waltham Abbey Town Council. Mr. Jackman indicated that his interest was prejudicial and that he would leave the meeting for the consideration and voting on the item.

 

9.

Minutes of Previous Meeting (30.9.15) pdf icon PDF 59 KB

(Director of Governance) To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 30 September 2015.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 30 September 2015 be

taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

10.

Remuneration Scheme - Waltham Abbey Town Council

(Director of Governance) As the Panel will be aware, in April 2014 it considered and agreed a proposal of Waltham Abbey Town Council for the introduction of a remuneration scheme comprising:

 

(a)         a Mayor’s Allowance of £3,000 per annum; and

(b)         the reimbursement of travel expenses and/or mileage incurred in the course of the Council’s business at a rate of £0.45 per mile.

 

At the request of the Panel at its last meeting, the Mayor of Waltham Abbey (Councillor H. Kane) and the Clerk of Waltham Abbey Town Council (Ms. K. Richmond) have been invited to attend this meeting to discuss the operation of the remuneration scheme and the level of Mayor’s Allowance incorporated therein.

 

A copy of the Town Council’s remuneration scheme is included within this agenda.

Minutes:

The Panel was reminded that, in April 2014, it had considered and agreed a proposal of Waltham Abbey Town Council for the introduction of a remuneration scheme. At the request of the Panel at its last meeting, the Mayor of Waltham Abbey (Councillor H. Kane) and the Clerk of Waltham Abbey Town Council (Ms. K. Richmond) attended the meeting to discuss the operation of the remuneration scheme and the level of Mayor’s Allowance incorporated therein.

 

The Panel sought clarification of the provision of a Mayor’s Allowance of £3,000 per annum as part of the remuneration scheme, which was felt to be considerably higher than similar allowances in comparable schemes. In response, Councillor Kane and Ms. Richmond emphasised that, whilst described as an ‘allowance’ in the scheme, the amount of £3,000 set aside by the Town Council each year actually constituted a working budget to support the civic role and responsibilities of the Mayor of Waltham Abbey. The Panel was advised that, although the current wording of the remuneration scheme suggested that the allowance could be paid to the Mayor at the commencement of their term of office, this arrangement was not implemented in practice and that claims against the allowance were made to defray reasonable costs incurred by the Mayor (or the Deputy Mayor) in the performance of civic duties.

 

In recognising the concerns of the Panel, Councillor Kane and Ms. Richmond accepted that the current wording of the remuneration scheme might have caused some confusion, and that it might be appropriate to amend the scheme appropriately for the purposes of clarification. Ms. Richmond also suggested that it might be appropriate for the Town Council to develop a separate protocol for the budget that supported the civic role and responsibilities of the Mayor

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)         That the explanation of Waltham Abbey Town Council in terms of the operation of the level of Mayor’s Allowance within the Council’s current remuneration scheme, be noted; and

 

(2)         That the Director of Governance be requested to offer any necessary advice and guidance to Waltham Abbey Town Council in connection with the review of the  current wording of the remuneration scheme.

 

 

 

11.

Town & Parish Council Remuneration Schemes - Review pdf icon PDF 6 KB

(Director of Governance) As the Panel will be aware, the annual review of town and parish council remuneration schemes has traditionally commenced in September each year, to ensure that new schemes or changes to existing schemes are considered by the time that the District Council and local council precepts are approved for the following financial year (usually February/March).

 

To commence the process for 2017/18, the clerks of all town and parish councils have recently been reminded of the options for member remuneration and requested to indicate whether their council wishes to either introduce or amend an existing remuneration scheme.

 

At the time of the publication of this agenda, no proposals for the introduction or amendment of local council remuneration schemes had been submitted for consideration by the Panel. The Democratic Services Manager will report in connection with any proposals submitted for consideration by the Panel subsequent to the publication of this agenda. In the event of a local council wishing to introduce or amend a scheme, the respective clerks have been requested to submit details and the date from which such scheme is to be operative, for consideration by the Panel.

 

Details of those parish remuneration schemes known to be in operation are attached as Appendix 1 to this report, although some local councils have yet to advise the Director of Governance whether a scheme is currently in place. Whilst remuneration schemes should be reviewed by the Panel after four years of operation, in a number of instances it is unclear when this process was last undertaken. Copies of individual remuneration schemes are also attached and the Panel may wish to take this opportunity to complete a full review of all current schemes.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager reminded the Panel that the annual review of town and parish remuneration scheme commenced in September each year, in order to ensure that new schemes or changes to existing schemes were considered by the time that the District Council and local council precepts were approved for the following financial year.

 

The Panel was advised that, to commence the process for 2017/18, the clerks of all town and parish councils had been reminded of the options for member remuneration and requested to indicate whether their council wished to either introduce or amend an existing remuneration scheme. The Democratic Services Manager reported that no proposals for the introduction or amendment of local council remuneration schemes had been submitted for consideration by the Panel.

 

The Panel received details of those town and parish remuneration schemes known to be in operation, but noted that some local councils had yet to advise the Director of Governance whether schemes were currently in place. The Democratic Services Manager indicated that, whilst remuneration schemes should be reviewed by the Panel after four years of operation, it was unclear in a number of instances when this process had last been undertaken. The Panel therefore undertook a brief review of the current schemes circulated with the agenda for the meeting.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)         That no comments be raised on the current operation of the town and parish remuneration schemes reviewed by the Panel; and

 

(2)         That the Director of Governance endeavour to ascertain the current position with regard to the intentions of those local councils that had yet to indicate whether remuneration schemes were to be introduced or changes to existing schemes implemented, and to circulate such updated information to the Panel in due course.

 

12.

Date of Next Meeting

(Director of Governance) To agree arrangements for a further meeting of the Panel, if required.

 

Minutes:

The Panel agreed that its next meeting be held on a date to be arranged during September 2017, to undertake the annual review of town and parish remuneration schemes for 2018/19.