Five per cent pay rise proposal before Solihull councillors - The Solihull Observer

Five per cent pay rise proposal before Solihull councillors

Solihull Editorial 12th Mar, 2020 Updated: 12th Mar, 2020   0

COUNCILLORS could be in line for an increase in their basic allowances paid by taxpayers of over five per cent next month.

A review by an independent remuneration panel advising Solihull Council recommends members should raise their own basic allowance by 5.5 per cent from April, from £9242 to £9750.

It also recommends further hikes the following year of 2.5 per cent, to £10,000.

The basic allowance is paid to all 51 councillors as a backbench rate. The leader, cabinet members and others get extra for additional responsibilities.




The panel surveyed councillors, who said they felt the basic allowance was ‘too low,’ a view supported by the leaders of every party group.

In recommendations to Solihull Council’s governance committee, the panel also said allowances were ‘relatively low ‘ compared with other regional councils.


Therefore, it says elected members should receive a higher rate of increase than the borough council’s employees, which could be two per cent this year.

The move would see an extra £40,000 go to councillors this year, rising to £57,000 in 2021-22.

Report author Deborah Merry, head of legal services, said: “An increase of two per cent would not bring the basic allowance to the level the panel believes is appropriate.”

The panel also recommended an increase in the additional Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) for the council leader, Councillor Ian Courts – which is paid in addition to his basic allowance.

Some councillors told the review they thought his remuneration was too high. But the panel suggested an increase in his SRA of two per cent, to £23,567, in recognition of his work for the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Cabinet members, all representing the ruling Conservative group on the council, would see a two per cent rise in their special responsibility allowance, to £9427 on top of the basic allowance.

Scrutiny panel chairs would see their special allowance increase by four per cent to £7691.

The all-party governance committee will consider the proposal on Wednesday (March 18) before it goes to full council at a later date.

The independent remuneration panel consists of David Billingham, former HR director for Serco, Patricia Smith, vice-chair of Solihull Community Housing, Nerys Williams, consultant occupational physician and associate on the General Medical Council, and the panel chairman Russell Downing, a construction consultant.

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