Venue: Denning Room, EII Podium, The Castle, Winchester
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To receive any apologies for absence.
All Members of the Panel were present.
Declarations of Interest
All Members who believe they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter to be considered at the meeting must declare that interest and, having regard to the circumstances described in Part 3 Paragraph 1.5 of the County Council's Members' Code of Conduct, leave the meeting while the matter is discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with Paragraph 1.6 of the Code. Furthermore all Members with a Non-Pecuniary interest in a matter being considered at the meeting should consider whether such interest should be declared, and having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 2 of the Code, consider whether it is appropriate to leave the meeting while the matter is discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with the Code.
Members were mindful that where they believed they had a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter considered at the meeting they must declare that interest at the time of the relevant debate and, having regard to the circumstances described in Part 3, Paragraph 1.5 of the County Council's Members' Code of Conduct, leave the meeting while the matter was discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with Paragraph 1.6 of the Code. Furthermore Members were mindful that where they believed they had a Non-Pecuniary interest in a matter being considered at the meeting they considered whether such interest should be declared, and having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 2 of the Code, considered whether it was appropriate to leave the meeting whilst the matter was discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with the Code.
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting held on 14 October 2015.
The Minutes of the Committee meeting held on 14 October 2015 were confirmed as a correct record.
To receive any announcements the Chairman may wish to make.
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
County Councillor or Co-opted Member Comments
To receive any comments from County Councillors or Co-opted Members which have been received and asked be drawn to the attention of the Independent Remuneration Panel.
No comments had been received prior to the meeting.
Amendments to the Members' Allowances Scheme for 2017/18
To consider amendments to the current Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2017/18.
Review of the Special
Responsibility Allowance for the position of Assistant to the
Executive – Rural Affairs Champion
At its meeting on 14 October 2015 the Panel considered a Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) for the position of Assistant to the Executive – Rural Affairs Champion and recommended an SRA of £4,345 per annum being 25% of the SRA for an Executive Cabinet Member. The Panel further recommended that the SRA be reviewed in 12 months time. It was felt timely to review the SRA following the County Council’s Election in May 2017 and the setting up of the new Administration.
Information about the position, outcomes achieved and how it had developed since its inception had been provided to the IRP as summarised below. The Chairman invited John Tickle, Assistant Director in the Culture, Communities and Business Services department to expand on this information and answer the Panel’s questions.
The Panel noted the key functional areas of the Rural Affairs Champion as set out below:
directly supports and advises the Leader and Cabinet
on the development of rural policy, innovative pilot projects,
grant awards and joint funding initiatives to sustain strong and
vibrant rural communities across the County
develops and maintains links with key organisations
such as the Local Enterprise Partnerships, HALC (Hampshire
Association of Local Councils - parish and town councils), National
Park Authorities, and other bodies such as Action Hampshire, the
Country Landowners Association and Campaign to Protect Rural
actively Represents Hampshire County Council on key
bodies such as the HALC Board, Hampshire Rural Forum and the
statutory Hampshire Countryside Access Forum to further the
opportunities and interests of rural communities across the
promotes Hampshire County Council’s rural
estate and associated partnerships as a key contribution to both
the land based sector and economic development across the
provides rural ‘proofing’
advice in relation to the impacts of County Council policy and
service delivery developments linked to the extensive programme of
transformation and change operating across all departments within
· leading role in the development of closer working with Hampshire’s 264 Parish and Town Councils in terms of new and effective ways to sustain services and support, at a local level, in the face of ongoing budget reductions
with a summary of key rural programme delivery outcomes during
updated Socio-economic profile of rural Hampshire
– production of an updated evidence base to help inform
decision making and the targeting of scarce resources
(approximately 80% of Hampshire is defined as rural – and it
contains about 25% of the population)
· New Hampshire Rural Forum – successful re-establishment of the Forum in June 2016 bringing together 60 organisations, groups and individuals with an interest in rural Hampshire to raise awareness and understanding of rural issues and find solutions (e.g. rural crime – involvement in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s ‘rural communities matter’ conferences). The role holder is the County Council representative on the Forum and Lead Member for the County Council on its future development ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To consider and make recommendations in respect of a Members’ Allowances Scheme in accordance with Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Members Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 to take effect from 1 April 2018.
The current Members’ Allowances Scheme expires on 31 March 2018 and in accordance with Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Members Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 had given consideration to a Scheme to take effect on 1 April 2018.
The Chairman confirmed that during the course of their work, the IRP had taken account of other Councils’ Schemes and had attended a meeting of the SE Region IRPs. The approach of the IRP had been to recommend a Members’ Allowances Scheme that was fit for purpose and robust. The introduction of formulas for the calculation of SRAs payable to Minority Group Leaders and Minority Group Spokespersons had been effective and operating a Scheme over a four-year period had provided continuity and assisted financial planning.
Hampshire Pension Fund Panel & Board – SRA for Co-opted Member Scheme Representatives
The IRP considered a request to introduce an SRA for the Co-opted Scheme Member Representatives on the Hampshire Pension Fund Panel and Board. Background information is attached as an Annex to these Minutes. The IRP supported this request and proposed that the SRA be the same amount paid to other Co-opted Member roles, being £675 per annum, payable from 1 April 2018.
Basic Allowance and Special Responsibility Allowances
The IRP proposed that the basic allowance and SRAs payable to Members, Co-opted Members and allowances payable under other legislation be increased in line with any nationally agreed pay award for staff from 1 April 2018 and thereon annually for 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22. The IRP were mindful that the basic allowance and the majority of SRAs had been frozen at the 2009/10 level for the last eight years and had therefore not kept pace with inflation. In terms of succession planning and attracting individuals to become a Councillor, the IRP highlighted the importance of operating a Scheme that made provision for sensible increases particularly as some Councillors may give up some form of paid employment to take on this important role.
Childcare and Dependents’ Carers’ Allowances
The IRP had reviewed the current allowances for Childcare and Dependents’ Carers’ and were of the view that a move away from fixed amounts to allow Members to claim actual costs would be more appropriate to reflect the variance of these costs across the County.
a) That an SRA of £675 per annum be payable to the Co-opted Scheme Member Representatives of the Hampshire Pension Fund Panel and Board from 1 April 2018.
b) That the basic
allowance and SRAs payable to Members, Co-opted Members and
allowances payable under other legislation be increased in line
with any nationally agreed pay award for staff from 1 April 2018
and thereon annually for 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22.
c) That a reimbursement reflecting the actual cost incurred be payable in regard to Childcare and Dependents’ Carers’ Allowances in accordance with the County Council’s payment processes.