At least £700 pay rise for Birmingham councillors likely

Friday, 26th March 2021

A PAY rise of between £700 and more than £3,000 is on the cards for Birmingham city councillors, if recommendations from an independent panel are approved.

The recommendations suggest raising all councillors’ basic allowances by 4.2 per cent to £18,681, while the leader of the council’s pay would go beyond £75,000.

The independent remuneration panel suggested a 4.4 per cent pay increase last year and a 4 per cent increase the year before.

If approved by the council, the changes this year would see an additional £72,518 spent on basic allowances alone for all 101 councillors for the year.

Councillors who hold extra responsibilities receive additional payments on top of the basic allowance.

Cllr Ian Ward (Lab) of Birmingham City Council.

Cllr Ian Ward (Lab) of Birmingham City Council.

The suggested increases include:

  • Leader of the council, Cllr Ian Ward (Lab): £56,579 (plus basic allowance, total £75,260)
  • Deputy leader, Cllr Brigid Jones (Lab): £45,263 (plus basic allowance, total £63,944)
  • Cabinet members Cllrs Sharon Thompson (Lab), Paulette Hamilton (Lab), Kate Booth (Lab), John O’Shea (Lab), Tristan Chatfield (Lab), John Cotton (Lab), Waseem Zaffar (Lab), Jayne Francis (Lab): £28,289 (plus basic allowance, total £46,970)
  • Chair of planning committee, Cllr Karen McCarthy (Lab): £16,973 (total £35,654)
  • Chair of licensing and public protection committee, Cllr Phil Davis (Lab): £16,973 (total £35,654)
  • Chair of an overview and scrutiny committee: £14,145 (total £32,826)
  • Leader of the largest opposition group, the Conservatives, Cllr Robert Alden (Con): £16,973 (total £35,654)
  • Deputy leader of the largest opposition group, the Conservatives, Cllr Ewan Mackey (Con): £9,618 (total £28,299)
  • Chair of the audit committee, Cllr Fred Grindrod (Lab): £5,658 (total £24,339)
  • Chair of the trusts and charities committee, Cllr Akhlaq Ahmed (Lab): £5,658 (total £24,339)
  • Chairs of the licensing sub committees: £5,658 (total £24,339)
  • Leader of other qualifying opposition group, the Liberal Democrats (Cllr Jon Hunt (Lib)): £7,921 (total £26,602)
  • Deputy leader of other qualifying opposition group, the Liberal Democrats, Cllr Roger Harmer: £3,960 (total £22,641)
  • Lead opposition spokesperson (Shadow Cabinet): £5,658 (total £24,339)
  • Political Group Secretaries: £3,960 (total £22,641)

Councillors last year were recommended a £17,954 basic allowance, with payments for extra responsibilities bringing the total up to between £21,754 and £72,242 for councillors in senior roles.

Cllr Ward was recommended to receive a total of £72,242, while cabinet members were recommended £45,098.

In its report to the city council’s business management committee, the panel said the rise is linked to the Annual Survey of Household Earnings (ASHE).

To bring council allowances in line with ASHE would have meant a 10 per cent allowance rise in the 2017/18 year, the panel has said.

Instead, the panel aimed to bring pay in line over the four-year electoral term covering 2018 to 2022 – with another pay increase expected next year.

At its meeting on March 29, the business management committee are asked to recommend the council approves the suggested pay increases.