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0 votes
At tonight's meeting the Chairman announced that he wanted a Chairmans allowance.
It wasn't on the agenda.
The Chairman is a co-opted Councillor. Can he legally receive this allowance?
by (1.7k points)

4 Answers

0 votes
Yes  - whilst most Town and Parish Council Councillors don't get an allowance it is legal. But the whole council must resolve to approve for him to get one. Presumably he will seek to have this on the next full meeting agenda. If so, were I present as a member I would want to see an agenda paper showing how much he is seeking and why he feels it is justified.
by (35.5k points)
Thanks Graeme. This came about as monies had been used for a gift to a resident but was deemed unlawful by  the now famous Jackie Weaver.
To get around this happening again a Chairmans allowance was proposed of £100. I'm more annoyed that it wasn't on the agenda. We are a small Council and using precept money to buy your mate a bottle of booze just doesnt feel right to me, thanks again.
Why was he buying a resident a gift? if they had done some work voluntarily for the council and they wanted to thank him, that can be done but it is better asking the Clerk to purchase it and putting it through their expenses.  If this was proposed at a meeting where it wasn’t on the agenda then that was an unlawful decision - sorry yet another minefield
0 votes
I might disagree because some where I think I read that the only difference between elected Councillors and co-opted Councillors is that elected only elected Councillors can receive an allowance.  The Chair is still a Councillor, he has no other powers.
This also need to be on the agenda, discussed and approved by the whole Council, if it wasn’t on the agenda it shouldn’t be talked about.
by (3.8k points)
Thanks ParishCouncillor my thoughts were unelected Cllrs couldn't receive an allowance. If anyone has the legal stuff I'd be grateful. It wasnt an agenda item so I was completely unaware. Astonishingly our Clerk clerks for many Councils and is the local Town Clerk, perhaps my expectations are too high!
Ignoring the fact that nothing that is not on the agenda can be discussed or agreed (it will have to go to full council at the next meeting), a small allowance for the Chair, whether co-opted or not, is quite common although does need to acknowledge that sometimes the chair incurs expenses that other councillors might not.  It is common that this allowance be used for little things like, perhaps, a small gift to a volunteer.  £100.00 is hardly a huge amount and it must go through the "expenses" procedure, i.e. funds reclaimed on submission of a receipt, or it becomes income payable through the paye system.
Our Chairman has told members it is his to spend as he wishes and doesn't have to provide receipts etc. He just hands back what hasn't been spent at the end of the year....
+1 vote
The allowance paid to councillors is separate from the allowance paid to a Chairman.  The first falls under the Local Authorities (Members Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 and the latter falls under the Local Government Ac 1972, schedule 29, 9.1.

I would say that as the Chair he is entitled to the Chairman's Allowance regardless of his co-opted status but he would not be entitled to a Councillor Allowance because he is co-opted.

Overriding this is the requirement for all councillors to debate and resolve to allow for both of these allowances within an agenda item legally published.
by (24.6k points)
Thank you Mrs Abster for responding. Debate?
The Chairman tells members what he's done and what he intends to do. There is no debate.
0 votes
The Chairman's allowance here in Wales is up to £1500. He/she can also claim the Councillors allowance, which here is £150. The difference here is the Council does not have to approve paying Councillors allowance. All Councillor are entitled to it unless they choose to opt out, co-opted or not. They do have to approve the Chairman's allowance and decide an amount, up to the maximum.

I am the current Chair and get the full Chairman's allowance, but do not claim the Councillor allowance as well nor do I cIaim travel expenses. I can't speak for all Chairpersons but feel that I earn mine. I now work more hours than I did before my retirement! I do use my Chair allowance for helping the community when I can. I have donated to some local charities and community groups. I have recently purchased some spring bulbs to give to our Greening Group. We do not have to repay any unspent monies but mine will go to my Mayors Charities, a tradition where the Mayor (I'm both) raises money for his/her chosen charities. We do not have to provide receipts as the money is the Chairs to do with whatever they want, including keeping it all for themselves.
by (2.8k points)
Thank you. It sounds like the Welsh laws have been used in an English PC. Our Chairman has stated he does not have to keep receipts etc, spend as he wishes and will hand back whatever isnt spent at the end of the year. Sounds fishy to me and against transparency.
If he's trying to use Welsh laws then the Council has to agree if and what they pay him! A Chair has no power to make decisions himself. Your Clerk should be able to find the correct English legisation.
If only life was this straightforward,  thanks for your response

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