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CONSULTATION BEGINS ON COUNCIL ALLOWANCES

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New proposals for a simpler system of allowances for councillors were ...
New proposals for a simpler system of allowances for councillors were

published for consultation today by local government minister Nick

Raynsford.

Views are being asked on simplifying the framework for allowances for

travel and subsistence and for parish councils. The government is

also meeting commitments made during the Local Government Act and

consulting on which councillor positions should be eligible for

benefits under the Local Government Pension Scheme and which might be

more suited to stakeholder pensions.

Mr Raynsford said:

'We have already established a new framework, involving an

independent remuneration panel for each council, for the main

allowance payable to councillors. Today's consultation covers

allowances such as travel and subsistence, parish council allowances,

and pensions for certain councillors.

'Our aim is for a simpler, fairer system with stronger local

accountability - bringing those independent panels into the decision

making on these allowances and pensions.

'Our proposals on pensions are designed to ensure that councillors -

who because of their time commitment to council business may lose out

on pension rights elsewhere - are not disadvantaged or deterred from

coming forward because of a lack of pension provision for their

valuable work.'

Under the proposals key councillors - members of a council's

executive, and chairs of its overview and scrutiny committees who

have been appointed for at least six months - might be eligible for a

pension through the Local Government Pension Scheme following the

recommendation of the remuneration panel. The consultation also

outlines changes to councillor allowances. Options include:

* Each principal council will determine its own discretionary travel

and subsistence taking into account recommendations of its local

independent remuneration panel

* Co-opted and appointed members of principal council's committees

will be paid a meetings allowance. This will be determined by the

local authority taking into account the recommendations of the

independent remuneration panel

* In place of the current system of attendance and financial loss

allowances, a new participation allowance will be available to parish

councillors, who will also be able to receive travel allowances

* Local authorities and other bodies will to be able to pay a cycling

allowance to be determined in the same way as other travel allowances

The two documents - Travel, subsistence and certain other allowances

for members of local authorities and other bodies in England and

Pensions for elected members of local authorities in England - are

out for consultation until Friday 26 October.

Note

Both papers can be viewed on the DTLR website.

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