Governance Committee report to Council Part 1
MEMBERS ALLOWANCES' SCHEME 2009/10
1. The Committee has considered the report and recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel(IRP). Exceptionally, the Chairman of the Committee invited Mr. Peter Humphreys, the Chairman of the IRP, to present the Panel's report to the Committee.
2. The Committee is disappointed that the IRP had not been willing to give the County Council the opportunity to have sight of the draft report so as to deal with inaccuracies, misunderstandings and potentially unlawful proposals. The Committee is also disappointed that the IRP expressed views in its report and made recommendations beyond its statutory remit and has asked the IRP to consider withdrawing particular references.
3. Being mindful of the many and varied actions taken by the County Council to increase Members' transparency and accountability since the informal IRP's report in July 2000, the Committee strongly disagreed with the IRP's assertion that there had been a breach of public trust. The Committee was also mindful that the IRP's predecessor, which had comprised eminent persons highly experienced in the subject matter at national level, had never taken issue with the County Council's actions to improve accountability following the report which had been made in July 2000.
4. The Chairman also explained the role of the Audit Commission in determining whether the County Council provided value for money. He reaffirmed to the Committee the very positive views of the Commission as to the County Council's strong record both in terms of performance and value for money.
5. Mr. Humphreys accepted that there were inaccuracies in the IRP's report, the IRP having been unaware of governing legislation or initiatives either taken by the County Council or in progress to enhance Members' accountability. In response to Members' questions and observations and the corrections required as to matters of fact, Mr. Humphreys indicated his willingness for the IRP to review elements of its report.
6. Those recommendations of the IRP which the Committee considered fell within the IRP's remit have been the subject of an anonymous questionnaire to all Members of the County Council and accordingly a supplementary report will be issued as soon as possible.
7. The reports considered by the Committee and the IRP's report can be found on the County Council's website at:
That approval be given to a Members' Allowances Scheme for 2009/10 which takes into account the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel and of the Chief Executive's and the Committee's views, together with Members' views to be reported at the County Council meeting.