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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The New Bucks council should adopt a plan to “recover” the low attendance allowances, says the review panel

An independent group recommended that the new Buckinghamshire Council implement a scheme to recover the councilor’s allowances for bad attendance.

If necessary, the Shadow Director has hired an independent body, called the Independent Renumeration Panel (IRP), to make recommendations on the structure and policies of the new Buckinghamshire Council.

Deputy Director General of the new Buckinghamshire Council, Sarah Ashmead

Deputy Director General of the new Buckinghamshire Council, Sarah Ashmead

As part of their report, the IRP recommended that councilors should be able to claim full basic allowance only if they attend a certain number of meetings, suggesting 50% or 60%.

The IRP wrote in their report: “The group recommends that the Council adopt a recovery mechanism. As a voluntary process, recovery is probably best implemented through the group system. “

At the Shadow Director’s meeting on February 18, the new council’s deputy director general, Sarah Ashmead, said: “The IRP has also made some recommendations on liability that have felt important and we recommend that you support and accept those in the scheme, for example. exception of a claw-back scheme because we cannot legally assert this. “

Ashmead added: “This is a problem for political groups to think about after the election.”

Given that the IRP report clearly recommends that the recovery process falls within political groups, there does not appear to be anything the shadow authority can reject, contrary to what Ms Ashmead said.

The Bucks Herald asked for clarity on how to proceed with the implementation of the recovery program.

A spokesman for the shadow authority said: “This is not something that falls within the powers of the shadow authority to agree. Since a possible recovery would be a completely voluntary agreement, the new directors elected in May will have to decide whether they wish to implement it.

“The Independent Audit Committee report said that as a voluntary process, claw-back is probably best implemented through the group system. This is why the executive report proposed to discuss the idea of ​​a recovery program with political groups after the elections. “

District Councilor Robin Stuchbury, who is also a member of the monitoring and overview committee for the new council, said: “I would be interested in what evidence was presented to the panel about the low presence of councilors in Buckinghamshire which led them to conclude that this the recommendation was necessary. “

Proposals are expected to be submitted to the shadow authority for the new council on February 27.

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