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Allowances on the agenda at first full Cornwall Council meeting of 2021

Changes to councillor’s allowances will be discussed when Cornwall Council holds its first full meeting of 2021 next week.

The Independent Remuneration Panel, which is made up of independent members of the public and does not involve councillors, has been assessing how the change from 123 members down to 87 will affect allowances following May’s planned elections.

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The changes, if approved by councillors, would save the authority £432,443.64 each year.

The Independent Remuneration Panel does not consider budgets when recommending allowances, but bases its decisions on evidence, including looking at other local authorities and member surveys.

The basic allowance for members is recommended to be set at £15,596.99 – an increase from the current £14,472.48.

The increase also takes into account the new demands placed on councillors by the pandemic, and reflects extra costs for home broadband and home working.

If the new amount is approved by councillors, it will then be linked to increase by the same rate as the annual staff pay award at the authority for the next four years.

Special responsibility allowances, which are awarded to the council leader and cabinet members, as well as for a range of other commitments, would then be linked to the new basic allowance.

Also on the agenda at next Tuesday’s meeting will be an update on the council’s capital programme, including the setting aside of funds for the proposed Camelford bypas.

The agenda also includes a review of the terms and references for the authority’s standards committee and a look at Port and Harbour charges for 2021-22.

The authority will meet virtually at 10am on Tuesday, January 19.  You can watch the meeting live via a link on the front page of the agenda, which can be found on the council’s website at https://democracy.cornwall.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=584&MId=9571&Ver=4