Elected members carry out a wide variety of roles. Some may take on important leadership positions such as council leader, mayor or committee chair. Others will participate on working groups scrutinising council and other public services or in building partnerships with local voluntary groups and the business sector as well as acting as a point of contact for residents in their local ward.
Surveys have shown that typically a councillor can expect to spend on average about 20 hours a week engaged in council related activities of one sort or another. They are entitled to receive reimbursement for any necessary expenses incurred and allowances to reflect some of the time spent on council business and the responsibilities undertaken.
The members’ allowances scheme sets out the payments which may be made or claimed by councillors and also for the small number of co-opted members appointed to council committees (in Eastbourne’s case the 3 independent members of the standards committee). The scheme is drawn up and approved in accordance with statutory regulations and guidance published by the government. You will find a copy of the allowances scheme below, together with a document giving details of payments made to members in previous financial years.
The Independent Remuneration Panel
Every council is required to establish an independent remuneration panel. The panel is charged with providing advice on the council’s allowances scheme and the nature and level of allowances to be paid. The council must have regard to this advice when reviewing or amending its scheme. Schemes must be fully reviewed at intervals of not less than 4 years.
The Council had recently recruited a new panel to carry out a review of the members' allowances scheme. You can find a copy of the panel's report below. This was considered by the Council on 20 April 2011. The Council accepted their recommendations in respect of enhanced child care and dependents' carers' allowances and adjustment to the car mileage rate to reflect the recent uprating of the approved HMRC rates. They declined to accept the recommendation that a further review be undertaken in 2012. The panel had noted that proposed Government legislation and the Council's Sustainable Service Delivery Strategy could have an impact on Councillors' workloads and had suggested that a further review might be appropriate to take any resultant changes into account.