A request for some councillors to get extra allowances for committee responsibilities has been rejected by an independent panel.

The Independent Remuneration Panel has recommended Reading Borough Council (RBC) does not approve giving an extra £1,074 per year to councillors on the Planning Applications and Licensing committees.

However, the panel has recommended that the council’s representative on the Fostering Panel should get the extra £1,074 per year allowance.

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The panel has recommended councillors are paid a basic allowance of £8,447.08 in 2021/22.

For special responsibility allowances, which are on top of the basic allowance, it recommends:

  • Leader of council: £19,008.75
  • Deputy leader: £11,610.75
  • Special Responsibility Tier 1 – Lead councillors (e.g. lead member for Housing): £9,761,25
  • Tier 2 – Leader of the main opposition group (currently Conservatives) and chairs of Licensing Applications and Planning Applications committees: £6,234.09
  • Tier 3 – Chairs of committees and group leaders of other political groups: £3,123.57
  • Tier 4 – Vice-chairs of committees, the independent chair of the Standards committee and the Fostering Panel member: £1,103.54

Allowances have been increased by 2.75 per cent in line with Local Government Pay Settlement recommendations every year since this policy was approved in 2019.

The council had suggested councillors on the Planning Applications and Licensing committees and the Fostering and Adoption panels be given a Tier 4 special responsibility allowance but the panel has only recommended this for the Fostering Panel.

The panel said the “great deal of time and effort” required for the Fostering Panel position justified an extra allowance but it did not consider the Licensing and Planning committee duties sufficiently demanding to warrant extra pay.

And it did not recommend extra allowances for the Adoption Panel as there are currently no council representatives on the panel.

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The panel has recommended the council appoint an additional Fostering Panel member and an additional Licensing vice-chair to help share the workload.

RBC’s Full Council will vote on whether to approve the independent panel’s recommendations on Tuesday, March 23.

No councillor can receive more than one special responsibility allowance. For example, Councillor Tony Page is deputy leader and lead member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport but only receives an extra allowance for the deputy leader role.