Agenda and minutes

Constitution Committee - Friday 9 February 2024 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Contact: Sophie Benfield  Email: sophie.benfield@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

See above.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 22 January 2024.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 22 January 2024 were agreed as a correct record.

 

3.

Public Questions

To answer any written public questions about matters which are within the powers and duties of the Committee. The closing date/time for receipt of questions is 10.00am on 2 February 2024.

Minutes:

No questions received from members of the public.

 

4.

Members' Questions

To answer any written member questions about matters which are within the powers and duties of the Committee. The closingdate/time for receipt of questions is 10.00am on 2 February 2024.

Minutes:

No questions received from Members.

 

5.

Independent Remuneration Panel Report pdf icon PDF 115 KB

The Committee to consider the report of the IRP.

 

The report was presented to the last meeting of the Committee and Members agreed to defer consideration of the item until further information was provided.

 

The initial report can be found at the link below:

 

 

Agenda for Constitution Committee on Monday 22 January 2024, 2.00 pm (gloucestershire.gov.uk)

 

Additional information will be circulated prior to the meeting once available.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

5.1     The Constitution Committee was informed that the IRP had met on 2 February 2024. The recommendations from the Panel were the same as the report that had been received by the Committee on 22 January 2024.

 

5.2     The additional report in front of members included benchmarking data compiled by officers and the potential movement of ‘median’ and ‘mean’ figures in relation to any increase.

5.3     Members commented that the rational in the original report from the IRP for not including the leader and cabinet member in any increase to allowance was relatively sparse. In analysing the data in the additional report, Members suggested that in every statistical measure the interpretation of the IRP was open to question. It was felt that the original report needed to have better articulated the Panel’s thinking in relation to how they had compared the Council’s position to other authorities.

 

5.4     Some Members did not agree with the validity of the median as being the statistical measure on which to base recommendations on allowances.

 

5.5     One Member stated going forward, it was important that there was clarity regarding what criteria the Panel were working with, for example maintaining Gloucestershire’s position within a particular quartile, so that Members could consider whether they agreed with that.

 

5.6     Members noted, from the data provided, that a number of other councils would be increasing their Cabinet Member and Leader allowances and so Gloucestershire’s position statistically in comparison to them would change.

 

5.7     The Committee questioned the position of the allowance for the Chair of Council in comparison to other authorities and asked why this was substantially lower than the median, given the weight that the ‘median’ had been given in the Panel’s consideration of the other allowances.

 

5.8     Some members commented that they could see the value in a main review carried out by the IRP after an election, followed by annual increases linked to the employee pay award, but they did not see why an annual process was carried out. Members commented that the questions asked at the interview by the Panel did not seem to link directly to the recommendations being made.

 

5.9     Considering the data obtained which detailed the emerging allowances agreements for 2024, it was suggested that there was evidence that authorities were linking allowances to the employee pay award. Some council’s appeared to be linking their Leader and Cabinet Member positions to the Chief Executive’s pay award. Where some councils had frozen allowances in the past, they were now having to increase by greater percentages to compensate.

 

5.10   The Committee outlined a number of questions they would like answered by the IRP in order to better understand their thinking:

 

·       Where was the IRP looking to position the Council’s allowances scheme in comparison to other councils?

·       What was their consideration of the potential increases of other councils’ allowances for 2024 and how that might alter the comparative position?

·       In conducting the member interviews as part of the annual process, what was the IRP looking  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.