Lead councillors in Reading could be about to get a big rise in their allowances.

An independent remuneration panel has recommended changes to the councillors’ allowances scheme at Reading Borough Council (RBC).

If approved at full council on Tuesday, council leader Jason Brock would get an extra £12,842 per year.

The recommended changes aim to bring the allowances of the council leader, deputy leader and lead members in line with other local authorities in Berkshire.

Cllr Brock currently receives £7,004 per year, compared to Bracknell Forest Council leader Paul Bettison, who gets paid £28,954.

The next lowest paid council leader in Berkshire is West Berkshire’s Lynne Doherty, who receives £18,865.

The panel has recommended increasing the council leader’s special responsibility allowance to £19,846, which would take Cllr Jason Brock above his counterparts in West Berks and Slough.

Reading’s deputy leader and its lead councillors also currently earn less than any other authority in Berkshire.

The panel has recommended increasing the deputy leader’s allowance to £12,000, while lead members would get £10,799.

Basic allowance paid to all councillors is set to remain at £8,220 a year, as it is broadly in line with those paid at other Berkshire local authorities.

Chairs and vice-chairs of committees will also receive an increase in allowance under the recommendations.

The panel said a contributory factor to the low allowances level in Reading was councillors having to decide at full council each year whether to award themselves an increase in allowances, which they were reluctant to do.

As a result, the panel is recommending that responsibility allowances should be subject to a cost of living increase in future years and would be increased in line with the Local Government Pay Settlement, as already happens in some other Berkshire authorities.

The panel also decided that, if the changes were approved, the council should decide whether to introduce increases from the beginning of the year or part way through.

The panel’s full report can be found here. 

Councillors do not receive salaries.

All elected members are paid a Basic Allowance each year.

This relates to the work they all do as local councillors, representing their constituents, travelling round the city, and attending council and local community meetings.

Those members with additional duties and responsibilities also receive a special responsibility allowance for the extra work in relation to that role.

Both types of allowances are subject to taxation.