Process for approving additional remuneration
The following pertains to the current policy and will remain until the 2019 election. Prior to the election the Authority will revise these guidelines in line with the new approach and circulate new advice to councils.
New positions of responsibility
Although most councils are unlikely to change their positions of responsibility in the middle of a triennium, the Authority will consider proposals made to it by councils requesting new arrangements and will either issue an amending determination or consult further with these councils. All proposals must be submitted to the Authority regardless of the additional level of remuneration proposed. The Authority expects councils to consider their full year’s work programme when making proposals.
A council cannot exceed its capped fund available for additional councillor responsibilities. If a council’s fund had previously been fully allocated, then any new position will require a reduction in the amounts of extra remuneration for other positions that were previously approved by the Authority.
If a council did not originally allocate its entire fund for additional councillor responsibilities, but wishes to do so by appointing an additional committee chair during the triennium, the Authority would need to be convinced that the new role did not result in a reduction of duties/workload of the other chairs.
The Authority does not need to be advised of a reduction in the number of positions of additional responsibility if no changes are proposed to levels of extra remuneration for other positions. Any funds saved from such a reduction do not need to be reallocated.
The Authority will consider requests for such changes as they are received. The process of developing and producing a determination will normally take at least three months. In all cases where there is a change, councils need to wait till an amended determination is gazetted by the Authority before they can make extra payments to elected members. However, all payments will be back dated to the time when a councillor assumed a particular role.
The Authority has traditionally accepted proposals in respect of additional remuneration that are unanimously supported. Where it receives split recommendations, the Authority cannot overlook such differences. In those cases, strong supporting documentation concerning the reasoning behind any change in the recognition of positions should be provided.
A council cannot generally make a request for an increase in the size of the total fund for additional councillor responsibilities if it appears that it is not sufficient to meet needs. Under extraordinary circumstances (for example following a major natural disaster) the Authority might agree to an increase.
Allocation, increase and carry-over of additional fund
A council is not required to distribute its entire fund. Any unallocated funding cannot, however, be carried over to the next financial year.
Under the current approach (until the 2019 election), changes in councillor numbers following a representation review will not affect the base councillor remuneration level for each councillor, or the size of the fund available for councillor positions of additional responsibility.
The only impact of a reduction in councillor numbers would be a reduction in the total remuneration costs for the council, with fewer councillors receiving the base councillor remuneration. Conversely more councillors would result in a higher total remuneration cost for the council.