Kent County Council today reviewed the remuneration for its 81 councillors, which has been frozen since 2008.
In addition to the eight year freeze, councillors voluntarily took a further cut of 1.5% in their basic remuneration and a 5.4% cut for those with special responsibilities in 2009 which, until today, remained in place.
Today, the County Council agreed to restore remuneration to the 2008 level.
In addition, the allowance paid to all councillors will increase by 13.6% and the Special Responsibility Allowances for cabinet members and committee chairpersons will increase by 9.6%.
Over the last eight years national wage increases for those in the private and public sector have increased by 16.7%. KCC’s budget for staff pay has increased slightly above this.
Leader of KCC Paul Carter said: “Councillors of this authority have been extremely restrained over the last eight years, having frozen their allowances since 2008 and indeed also taken a significant voluntary reduction.
“This has saved the authority in the region of £1.5m over the last eight years.
“Today’s award is still significantly below the national average pay increase and below the staff budget increases for KCC staff.”
Allowances are set by the Member Remuneration Panel, made up of three people independent of the council.
Councillors receive a basic allowance to perform their duties, instead of a salary.
These duties include:
preparing for and attending all formal and informal meetings that they are invited to
meetings with constituents
dealing with enquiries from their constituents.
The basic allowance also covers the use of an elected member’s home for conducting Kent County Council business, particularly in their division, the costs of phone calls and general stationery.
Some elected members receive an additional allowance for any special responsibility that they might have as a member of the council, such as being a Cabinet member or a committee chairman.