Plan to slash Sunderland City Council allowances and save more than £140k revealed

Plans to cut allowances for Sunderland City Council members have been unveiled by the authority’s controlling Labour group.

Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 11:23 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 4:22 pm
Coun Miller

The party says the move will save more than £140,000, to be fed back into front line services.

Council leader Coun Graeme Miller announced plans to cut 17 of the council’s 56 Special Responsibility Allowances (SRAs), paid to councillors who take on additional responsibilities.

Five allowances are outside the Council’s control, so a total of 44 SRAs will remain to be allocated between 75 members.

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Coun Graeme Miller will submit proposals for approval at Full Council on Wednesday, November 20.

“The move is one that will deliver better value for money for the taxpayer, while also ensuring councillors that shoulder a huge amount of extra responsibility, accountability and work load with additional responsibilities receive an appropriate allowance for that enhanced work load,” he said.

The proposal sees the current council cabinet reduced from 13 cabinet and deputy roles to 11 positions. Other headline changes include:

 Five of the ten Area Committee Vice Chair allowances removed, leaving a Chair and one Vice Chair in place in each Area Committee;

 The three thematic Scrutiny Committee Vice Chairs to lose their allowance;

 The leader of the opposition’s allowance to be based as a percentage of the Leader of the Council’s SRA, based on number of Opposition Councillors in the group;

 The Majority Party in Opposition’s Deputy Leader Allowance will be removed, as well as SRAs for the Minority Opposition Leader and Deputy Leader;

 The current Planning and Highways committee and three Development Control committees covering the city, will move to two committees only;

 Regulatory and Licensing to become one combined committee with the current Chairs becoming Chair and Vice Chair;

 Two Independent allowances on the Port of Sunderland Board removed;

 Audit and Governance Allowance cut for both Chair and panel member;

 From Council year 2021/22, Mayoralty allowances become £6,000 for the Deputy Mayor and £12,000 for the Mayor.

“We hope that all Councillors get behind these changes, which we know will deliver greater value for money for the people of Sunderland, while still delivering the high standard of Cabinet decision making,” said Coun Miller.