Increase in councillors’ allowances approved

Hackney Town Hall

Basic allowances: flat rate increase agreed at full council meeting

Councillors in Hackney will get a 5.5 per cent increase in their allowances for their role serving the community.

It sees a flat rate increase of £627 for the 57 councillors, equating to a 5.5 per cent rise.

This means each councillor can now claim a basic annual allowance of £12,014, which is paid in monthly instalments.

This is in line with the basic allowances increase across London councils.

The previous basic allowance was £11,387.

There were no increases last year, which reflected the state of negotiations for local government employees.

The basic allowance covers attending council meetings, and holding meetings with council officers and constituents, and can be used for costs such as telephone calls.

They can also claim carers’ allowance, parental leave and sickness pay and travel and subsistence if they represent the council outside Hackney.

Councillors can also join a cycle scheme where Hackney council lends it to them and they repay the loan from their allowance.

They can opt to forgo their basic allowances and special responsibility payments.

Politicians with special responsibilities have their increases go up by 5.5 per cent, but they are capped to £2,355, which includes the basic allowance uplift.

Hackney’s directly elected mayor’s annual salary is £89,224.50, and the role does not attract an additional basic allowance payment.

The payment covers all the responsibilities of the role.

The deputy mayor is paid £45,964.43 per year.

Cabinet members are paid what is known as a “special responsibility allowance” of £39,015.33 annually.

The Conservative opposition group leader is also paid a special responsibility allowance of £15,281.99 on top of the new basic allowance of £12,014 per year.

The second opposition leader, from the Green party, receives a special responsibility allowance of £9,532.61, again, in addition to the new basic allowance of £12,014 per year.

There are also payments for committee chairs, with the head of the licensing committee  and chair of the planning sub committee paid £19,256.42 annually.

The payments are funded from a budget of £1.49m, set aside last year.

Politicians at Hackney’s full council meeting approved the increase on Wednesday 25 January.