Calderdale councillors make decision on if they should get a rise in allowances

Calderdale councillors will not be getting a rise in their allowances when the new municipal year begins in May.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 6:00 pm

At a meeting of the full Calderdale Council, members agreed the right decision to make was keeping the rates as they currently are.

An annual mechanism is used to calculate increases and councillors have to vote for this not to happen, a recommendation made by the council’s Standards Committee.

Cabinet member for Regeneration and Strategy, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot), who is a member of that committee, said it was an easy decision to come to.

Councillor Jane Scullion

During the COVID-19 pandemic so many people in businesses or who had lost their jobs had found themselves in difficulties and the committee agreed it was not right any increase should go ahead.

It had been a unanimous decision to agree not to increase allowances or special allowances in May 2021, she said.

Senior Conservative Coun Stephen Baines (Northowram and Shelf), also a committee member, said he fully agreed with what Coun Scullion had said and seconded her motion to full council that it should ratify the decision, which members then did.

Calderdale councillors get a basic monthly allowance of £879.92, with extra money going to some senior posts which range from Cabinet membership to opposition group leaders, and the chairs of key committees and scrutiny boards.

Each month’s allowances are published by the council on its data works website – you can find this at https://dataworks.calderdale.gov.uk – along with other information and statistics relating to the council’s work.

Other decisions made by Cabinet or committees which were agreed by full council at the meeting included setting up a programme for publishing planning documents relating to the council’s draft Local Plan, setting out a range of financial and debt frameworks the council will work to, setting the council’s pay policy statement for staff, and incorporating the Local Government Association’s model member code of conduct into the council’s own workings.