Agenda item

Independent Remuneration Panel appointment process (Report number: COU/WS/23/011)

Report number: COU/WS/23/011 TO FOLLOW


Council considered this report which sought approval for a number of recommendations to commence the process towards appointing a new Independent Remuneration Panel.


West Suffolk Council’s Members’ Allowances Scheme was required to be reviewed in full by a newly appointed independent remuneration panel. The panel would make recommendations to Council on the level of remuneration, allowances and expenses for councillors. These recommendations must be considered by the Council, although the Council was within its right to agree alternative proposals. A new scheme must be adopted by December 2023 in order for it to be adopted before the current scheme expired in February 2024. The scheme would then be subject to annual review.


An independent remuneration panel must comprise a minimum of three members. The process for appointing must command public confidence, and both the process, and the panel, should not only be independent, but seen to be independent.


The report recommended that the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) would be appointed for no longer than a four-year term, as proposed in the terms of reference for the IRP attached at Appendix A.


The IRP’s work would be supported by officers of the Council, who would offer appropriate training, briefing and support to panel members. Members also considered the appointment of an advisor to the panel who could act as a conduit between council officers, elected members and the panel.  Person specifications for IRP members and the advisor to the panel were attached at Appendices B and C respectively.


Councillor Gerald Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Governance and Regulatory, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council, including the proposed arrangements for the IRP appointment process, as set out in section 2. This would be carried out in accordance with the timeline provided in section 3.1.


In response to a question, Councillor Kelly informed Council that once appointed, the Independent Remuneration Panel would be expected to fully review the entire Members’ Allowances Scheme, including the range of roles and level of remuneration covered under the scheme’s Special Responsibility Allowances. It would be for the Council to consider whether to accept the IRP’s recommendations or not.


On the motion of Councillor Kelly, seconded by Councillor Diane Hind, it was put to the vote and with the vote being unanimous, it was





1.       The process for appointing a new Independent Remuneration Panel for West Suffolk Council, as set out in section 2 of Report number: COU/WS/23/011, be agreed.


2.       Delegated authority be given to the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the respective Group Leaders, to each appoint a member from the Progressive Alliance Grouping and the Conservative Group to join the Portfolio Holder, being a member of the Independents, to sit on the proposed Selection Panel, as set out in paragraph 2.2.1.


3.       The terms of reference for the Independent Remuneration Panel, as set in Appendix A to Report number: COU/WS/23/011, be approved.


4.       The person specifications for IRP members as set out in Appendix B, be agreed.


5.       The appointment of an advisor to the panel, as set out in Appendix C, be agreed.

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