At Cannock Chase Council’s meeting earlier this month, members voted to amend a recommendation that Members’ Allowances should increase in line with officers’ pay award.
Cannock Chase Councillors receive an allowance to help with the costs associated with the role they are undertaking. The local scheme was last reviewed in December 2020.
An Independent Remuneration Panel recommended that the scheme be adopted for three years, that Basic, Special Responsibility and Civic Allowances be index linked to officer pay rates.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Olivia Lyons said “It is important to note that this is not my proposal, but a review undertaken by an Independent Panel. When considering the proposed changes, the Panel looked at the current scheme, Council data, allowances at neighbouring Councils, the Council’s ‘Audit Group’, attendance figures, meeting requirements, functions undertaken by Councillors and a survey of member’s views”.
“Whilst I am grateful to the independent Panel for taking the time to consider the scheme and put forward these proposals, I personally feel that this is something I cannot support. I stood as a Councillor because I am passionate about my local community.
“We are emerging from a global pandemic, businesses across the District are struggling to stay afloat and residents are feeling the pinch. To me, it would be unacceptable to support an increase.
“We all use our allowance in different ways, I use my allowance to support local community initiatives in my wards.
“We have surveyed Members and the majority have agreed to freeze the allowances at the current levels.”
It was therefore resolved that the Members’ Allowances Scheme should remain in place for three years, from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025. The Basic, Special Responsibility, and Civic Allowances would be frozen at the 2021/22 rates for each year of the revised Scheme