Members of North Yorkshire County Council’s executive will consider proposals today (24 January 2023) to increase County Councillor’s allowances from £10,316 to £15,500., that’s a 50% increase, and a big ask from the public to be seen as credible.
The total cost of the proposed basic allowances and the special responsibility allowances in 2023/24 is £1,845,686. This equates to £1,395,000 for basic allowances and £450,686 for special responsibility allowances.
An independent panel that annually reviews allowances paid to North Yorkshire’s county councillors is recommending payments for members of the new North Yorkshire Council.
NYCC say that the proposed rates of both basic and special responsibility allowances will see councillors paid at a level similar to comparable unitary councils, such as Cornwall and Northumberland.
If the proposals are approved, the basic allowance for a member of North Yorkshire Council will be £15,500 in 2023/24. Currently, within the county council, the basic allowance is £10,316. Special responsibility allowances will be at least four per cent higher than the current county council allowances, depending on the role.
The chair of the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP), John Thompson, said:
Councillors volunteer for their roles. They are not employees and are not paid at a commercial rate for their time. However, the allowances should not be set at a level which acts as a disincentive to conscientious performance of duties, or which does not reflect the considerable time commitment required for the role.
Setting a fair and proportionate basic allowance and special responsibility allowance that reflects the workload of councillors in the new authority has been a complex task. The allowances paid in similar local authorities have been reviewed, inflation and cost of living pressures taken into account, information from councillors about their current and future workload considered, along with details of how the new council will work and the services that it will commission and provide.
When considering the appropriate level for the allowances, it is also important to take into account the need to continue to attract the required calibre of candidate from a diverse range of backgrounds, to stand and serve as a councillor.