Appointments to the Joint Independent Remuneration Panel

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Information for Applicants

Introduction

Local authority elected Members are entitled to receive payments in the form of allowances and expenses to compensate them for the work that they do and the responsibilities they assume on behalf of the communities they serve. In addition to receiving reimbursement of travelling and subsistence allowances, the payments to elected Members comprise what is termed a "Basic Allowance", which is paid to all Members of a particular authority to reflect the roles that they all undertake and "Special Responsibility Allowance", which is paid to those Members that carry particular responsibilities within each council's constitutional arrangements.

Independent Remuneration Panels

The Government requires that councils establish Independent Remuneration Panels (IRP's). Councils cannot alter or update their existing Schemes of Members Allowances without first considering a report from an Independent Remuneration Panel.

The intention is that IRP's should be made up of completely independent persons who can consider the roles undertaken by councillors and make recommendations as to the amount they should receive in basic and special responsibility allowances. IRP's will receive information from councils to enable them to reach informed decisions and will be able to seek comparative information from other councils, interview councillors and generally undertake what research they consider necessary to enable them to make well founded recommendations.

Government regulations allow for Joint IRP's to be created to make recommendations to more than one council and that is what the councils of Sevenoaks District, Tonbridge & Malling Borough and Tunbridge Wells Borough have done. This does not mean that the IRP has made the same recommendations to each council. Each council operates in a slightly different way and the IRP has considered each council separately and made appropriate recommendations.

Terms of appointment

Meetings of the Independent Remuneration Panel will be held at the offices of the council that is under consideration by the Panel. Administrative support will be provided by the council being considered.

The number and frequency of the IRP's meetings cannot easily be determined. Schemes of Allowances recommended by the IRP would normally operate for at least a year and, in the past, some form of indexation has been applied to achieve an annual uplift, thus reducing the annual workload of the Panel.

A reasonable estimate is that for each of the three councils the IRP may need to meet two to three times for approximately two hours. Individual panel members may need to spend some time outside of meetings reading relevant material.

The Regulations allow for members of IRP's to themselves receive some payment. Panel members currently receive an hourly rate of £12.52p for actual time spent on panel work. Reimbursement of travel and subsistence costs incurred will also be made.

The IRP will consist of three persons each appointed for a fixed term. Meetings of the IRP will require a quorum of all three persons in attendance.

Selection

Candidates must be able to demonstrate a high degree of personal integrity. Some knowledge of the role of councillors would be advantageous but is not essential.

It is intended that the members of the Joint Independent Remuneration Panel will be selected from those responding to this advertisement although other means of recruitment may also be considered depending on the number and nature of responses received. Short-listed candidates will be interviewed by a panel of three councillors, one from each of the three councils. The final appointments will be subject to confirmation by each of the councils.

Please note that you are not eligible for appointment if:

  1. you do not live or work in the Tonbridge & Malling or Tunbridge Wells district area (there is already an existing Panellist from the Sevenoaks district);
  2. you are a member or officer of any local authority;
  3. you have a close personal relationship with a member or officer of the three councils
  4. you work for an organisation that receives grants from any of the councils

Application forms should be downloaded and submitted no later than 31st March 2016. It is intended that short-listed candidates will be invited for interview on 20th April 2016.

Further information

If there is anything further that you would like to know in order that you can apply, please email to charlie.steel@tmbc.gov.uk.