An item on the council agenda recommends that an independent remuneration panel be set up to look at the full range of councillor pay for after the next election. That's fair enough. Everyone has always agreed that the scheme should be looked at once every four years and there's no problem with setting things in motion now ready for May next year.
But wait. What's this extra line in the report?
"2. the IRP be asked to conduct a swift review of the existing Members’ allowances, and, in particular, the extent and level of Special Responsibility Allowances with a view to making appropriate recommendations to the meeting of Full Council on 27 March 2012"Special responsibility allowances are the extra money paid to those councillors who hold special positions - members of the cabinet and chairs of committees in the main. The need for a 'swift review' of such payments is not really clear to me and isn't explained in the report. Last time this issue came up it was an attempt by Cllr Robertson to get extra money for three of his Conservative chums. That move was resoundingly defeated by the full council. We will see next Tuesday if this is another attempt to get the same thing.
The Liberal Democrats have always been clear in our opposition to any change in allowances until after the 2013 election and have repeatedly voted against administration attempts to increase pay.