Questions about town and parish councils
Follow Councillor Q&A on X/Twitter

Follow us on X/Twitter

0 votes
This is my first chance I have had to look at our finances more closely  and I am staggered to see that admin takes up 50% of our budget with clerk costs nearly  £60k. We have a clerk that has 12 meetings a year to run and Asst Clerk  (12 hrs)  who minutes two other committees.(12 meetings).  Neither they say has time to maintain the web site .  The clerk/RFO is classified as LC3 but I am not sure how this "spinal column" assessment  works .  She seems to sit in profile 2 . Is it possible that previously that when we were unable to recruit that we overpaid . Does that/can that happen?  Dont wish to rock the boat but to check if we are paying the going rate .  Meanwhile my long standing battles re a huge planning EMR pot and road improvements (non traffic calming) projects have all been won due mainly  to a new County association chief officer concurring with my views .  But getting back to budgets, we have £200k precept so is 50% admin costs usual ?
by (4.7k points)

4 Answers

0 votes
You have 2 full time members of staff is that right?  If so £30k per member of staff, which would include all NI, PAYE and pension costs sounds about right to me.

BTW, the clerk would be doing more than just running 12 meetings a year...
by (24.3k points)
We have new clerk with circa 18 months experience on a total of £52k (£26ph)  and a deputy clerk on £21k (£16ph)
0 votes
You need to look at what the clerk(s) do in the round. It's easy to overlook how wide ranging the role is. Is the Clerk also the Responsible Financial Officer managing all the finances? Do you have allotments or burial grounds? Organise community events? If you are concerned, your local ALC (I believe) can organise a job evaluation to understand if the hours and payscale are correct.
by (2.9k points)
0 votes
Agree with the others that 50% staffing costs can be quite usual but would suggest you also look at what "admin costs" actually include.   The AGAR financial statement separates out staffing costs from everything else but as a result, there is a tendency (particularly with software systems designed for local councils) to label every other expense as "admin" so I'd suggest asking what is actually covered by the term if you've not already done so.
by (18.5k points)
0 votes
Start back at the beginning and look through the budget that was set for the year and the precept calculation which may have notes regarding any increases and why over the previous year. Why not have a word with the budget group chair to enquire as to how they calculated or included in the costs. No reason why they shouldn't be forthcoming.
by (26.5k points)

Welcome to Town & Parish Councillor Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community. All genuine questions and answers are welcome. Follow us on Twitter to see the latest questions as they are asked - click on the image button above or follow @TownCouncilQA. Posts from new members may be delayed as we are unfortunately obliged to check each one for spam. Spammers will be blacklisted.

You may find the following links useful:

We have a privacy policy and a cookie policy.

Clares Cushions logo Peacock cushion

Clare's Cushions creates beautiful hand made cushions and home accessories from gorgeous comtemporary fabrics. We have a fantastic selection of prints including Sophie Allport and Orla Kiely designs and most covers can be ordered either alone or with a cushion inner. Buying new cushions is an affordable and effective way to update your home interior, they're also a great gift idea. Visit our site now

2,923 questions
5,674 answers
8,022 comments
10,044 users
Google Analytics Alternative