The first meeting of the new Angus Council will debate the additional salary paid to the Provost and other senior councillors at their first meeting next week.
As discussions continue between non-SNP councillors about forming the next administration in the wake of Thursday’s election, a report setting out the flexibility in the amount paid to senior members has been produced by officers.
Under government regulations, Angus Council’s leader must receive a salary of £33,857 for the 2017/18 year. Councillors who don’t hold any senior positions will receive a salary of £16,927.
However, there is wiggle room in the number of councillors classed as senior and the amount they are paid.
The council may – but is not required to – pay the Provost a salary of up to a maximum of up to 75% of the leader’s salary, a maximum of £25,393.
In addition to the leader of the council and a civic head, the council can have up to a maximum of 13 senior councillors. These are typically the depute leader, committee conveners and certain vice-conveners but could also be the leader of a significant non-administration group.
The maximum sum the council can pay its senior councillors is a total £275,080 and the most a senior councillor can be paid is 75% of the leader’s salary.
If the maximum salary is applied the council would only be able to appoint 10 senior councillors.
In the last financial year, the council leader was paid £33,789, the depute leader and Provost both received £25,341, four conveners and three spokesperson roles were paid £22,673 each and two vice-conveners £18,095. Other councillors received £16,893.
The total cost was £566,553 which rose to just under £700,000 when national insurance and superannuation payments were taken into account.
There number of councillors in Angus has reduced from 29 to 28 but the budget for paying them has remained almost the same.
The report prepared by service manager Steven Mill states: “The full year cost of the current pay structure for Angus Council is £697k based upon 2016/17 remuneration rates. There is budget provision of £698k for 2017/18.
“If the council determines that councillors were to be remunerated at the maximum permitted under the Regulations, and all councillors elected to join the pension scheme, the full year cost would be £695k for the reduced complement of 28 elected members.”
Custom and practice has deemed that the role of convener of policy and resources is carried out by the council leader.
The role of scrutiny and audit convener is required to be undertaken by a non-administration councillor.
Next Thursday’s meeting will be initially chaired by the Chief Executive Richard Stiff before a Provost and Depute Provost are elected.
Margo Williamson is due to take over the role of Chief Executive on June 1.
In the last council set up there were 10 senior ranking councillors in addition to the leader and Provost.
The depute leader was paid the same amount as the Provost – £25,341.
Seven roles received a £22,673 salary. They were the conveners of the children and learning, communities, development standards and scrutiny and audit committees as well as the finance spokesperson, health and social care spokesperson and the development and enterprise spokesperson.
The vice convener of civic licensing and the vice convener of the scrutiny and audit committee were each paid £18,095.
The leader was paid £33,789 last year and non senior councillors were paid £16,893.
A councillor appointed to the Tayside Valuation Joint Board also received an additional salary, but this is not funded from the council’s budget.