How Much Should Councillors Get Paid?

In Rochford, District Councillors get paid a basic alowance of ?3800 per year. Does that seem a lot, or a little? By comparison, in Castle Point the basic allowance is ?2720 and on Chemsford Borough Council the basic allowance is ?5250.

Councillors don’t invent their own figures – in each district the amounts are reviewed every year by an independent panel of a non-councillors.

If you have any views on this issue, you can contact the panel via email at customer.care@rochford.gov.uk or by telephoning 01702 318135, or writing to the Independent Remuneration Panel, c/o Administrative and Member Services Division, Rochford District Council, South Street, Rochford, Essex SS4 1BW.

As part of their review, the panel interviewed Chris Black tonight. For what it’s worth, Chris’ views on this are:

  • I think that the basic payment levels should keep pace with inflation, but otherwise are about right.
  • I’ve never seen a situation where someone didn’t stand as a Lib Dem because they wanted more money first.
  • There should be a special carers allowance, for situations where councillors have to arrange babysitters for their children or carers for their elderly relatives. We should have a few councillors who are mothers of young children – having a carers allowance would help them arrange babysitters for daytime meetings.
  • There are too many councillors who receive ‘special responsibility allowances’ – I think only a few key councillors should get these. At the moment I get an extra smallish allowance for being the leader of a group of 4 councillors – perhaps this should only be paid out for leaders of groups of at least 10 councillors. If we did away with some of these allowances the amounts involved could be shared fairly between all 39 councillors.