Breckland Council backs allowance hike subject to staff pay award
Breckland councillors have backed plans to raise their allowances, but only in line with staff pay awards.
The proposal was approved at a meeting in Dereham this morning, although final details will only be known once staff pay increases are determined later.
Council leader William Nunn said afterwards: “We are very clear at Breckland that we are at our most effective when we are working together as one team.
“Aligning any changes in councillors’ allowances with frontline staff’s pay is one way of reflecting our joined up approach.
“Today’s decision means if the council’s public sector staff don’t get a wage increase, councillor allowances will remain unchanged too.”
An independent panel had recommended an unchanged basic allowance of £5,300 per year for each of the next two years, subject to workers’ pay awards.
The same recommendations also apply to allowances paid to members with specific roles, such as the leader, cabinet members, committee chairs and leaders of opposition groups.
The panel’s report said: “The panel had been mindful of the financial restraints affecting the council and the public sector as a whole.
“Despite these, the authority continues to perform very well, and the remuneration panel wish to congratulate the council for maintaining the lowest council tax in the country whilst providing good levels of public satisfaction and local service provision in these times of austerity.”
Mr Nunn added: “We continue to deliver excellent services and innovative projects which make a real difference to our residents and businesses and we will continue to help Breckland to develop and thrive.”
Staff pay awards are due to be determined towards the end of the current financial year.