Promotion for five North Somerset councilllors

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By Carol_Deacon | Thursday, February 21, 2013, 16:07

North Somerset Council created more top jobs for Conservative councillors at its meeting this week.

The appointments were made following discussions about the future direction of the district council and specialist needs in the areas of adult social services and new health responsibilities, welfare reform, children's services and and member communications.

Council leader and Gordano ward councillor Nigel Ashton made the appointment of five assistant executive members.

He said these positions are drawn from experienced councillors within the council and the costs will be contained within existing budgets following previous reductions in membership of the Executive by two, a planned reorganisation of scrutiny panels and proposals for an overall reduction in councillor numbers.

The new assistant executive members are:

  • Conservative councillor for Banwell and Winscombe Ann Harley will now have the added responsibility for adult social services and health integration;
  • Conservative councillor for  Weston-super-Mare east Dawn Payne will now have responsibility for welfare reform;
  • Conservative councillor for Portishead centre Reyna Knight will now have the added responsibility of public health;
  • Conseravtive councillor for Wraxall and Long Ashton Charles Cave will now have the added responsibily for member support, community engagement and parish working; and
  • Conservative councillor for Weston-super-Mare Milton and Old Worle Lisa Pilgrim will have the added responsibility for looked after children.

Cllr Ashton said: "North Somerset is continuing to change substantially with changes in service delivery leading to more outsourcing and partnership activities.

"Changing portfolios are requiring more focus on key areas and the assistant executive members will work alongside officers to provide a special focus.

"Currently the council operates with fewer executive members than any other unitary authority in the area, and does not employ research assistants as do some other councils.

"We will continue this approach of running lean and mean, but need to ensure this approach remains efficient in all areas."

That the basic allowance for councillors at North Somerset Council was set at £8,112 pa from April 1, 2012.

The council leader has a special responsibility allowance of £25,596.

Executive members claim a percentage of this sum with the deputy leader set at 70 per cent and the others at 60 per cent.

It is not clear how much an 'assistant' executive member can claim.

The council chairman gets 30 per cent while the chairman of the scrutiny panels and the planning and regulation committee is set at  25 per cent.

The chairman of area committees gets 20 per cent, chairman of the audit committee 15 per cent and the chairman of the standards committee is 10 per cent.

The chairmen of the licensing committee and the employment committee get no SRA.

Leaders of minority political groups on the council get an SRA of five per cent plus a further one per cent of the leader's group allowance.

Councillors can only claim a maximum of two SRAs even if they wear many more hats.

Councillors can also claim some travel and subsistence as well as child and dependent care costs.

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