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'Enhanced leader' gets enhanced allowance

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Rugby BC’s leader is to be paid an additional £6,000 for the “enhanced leader” role he took following the departure of the last chief executive.

The recommendation of an independent remuneration panel was voted through by a majority of councillors in the face of opposition from Labour opposition members.

Leader Craig Humphrey (Con), left, and executive directors Ian Davis and Andrew Gabbitas have been filling the hole left by the departure of chief executive Simon Warren since March.

Concerns have been raised by the Labour group about whether a political leader could be in charge of the administration of the council, but Rugby’s senior officers have insisted that Cllr Humphrey will not be in charge of the council’s paid staff and will only take on the chief executive’s public-facing responsibilities.

The remuneration panel decided that the leader should receive the extra allowance because he had done that external relations role “without substantial officer support”, but it also suggested there had been little evidence of a changed role and called for a cross-party review of the new governance arrangement.

The Conservative administration accepted all of the panel’s recommendations except this one, promising instead to establish an independent review of the set up.

Labour leader Cllr James Shera, who has called for a referendum to be held as there would be for a change to a directly elected mayor, said the Tory administration was unlikely to get his group’s support for the enhanced leader if they were not involved.

“Who will they pick for the review? We would like to have an all-party agreement on the panel,” he said.

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