Allowances paid to councillors in St Albans are to increase this year – with further inflationary increases agreed for the following three years.

Every member of St Albans City and District Council is eligible for a ‘basic allowance’ of £5,590, which is set to increase by 2.5 per cent to £5,730.

And the council agreed that this allowance should then increase by inflation annually for the following next three years, from 2021/22 to 2023/34..

But some of those councillors eligible for a ‘special responsibility allowances’ will see their allowances drop.

The allowance can be claimed by councillors holding certain positions, such as portfolio holders or committee chairs.

And they currently range  from £2,965 for some committee chairs, £9,485 for cabinet members and £13,575 for the leader of the council.

The allowance payable to the chair of planning committees will increase by £105, from £3,105 to £3,310.

But the allowance payable to chairs of overview and scrutiny, audit committee, health and wellbeing partnership and the licensing and regulatory committees, will be cut by £165 – from £2,965 to £2,800.

However, the chair and members of the licensing sub-committee per meeting should increase by £20 – from £100 to £120 and from £80 to £100.

Overall, the changes will increase the amount paid to councillors in allowances by £8,515, from £431,876 in 2019/20 to £440,391.

The changes are in line with recommendations made by the independent remuneration panel. And they were adopted by a meeting of the full council last Wednesday (January 15).

The council also agreed that for the following three years – 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24 – the basic allowances and the SRA payments will increase by the rate of inflation, in line with the CPI figure for February.

For every future increase by one per cent the overall cost will increase by £4,404.

Meanwhile the hourly rate paid to councillors claiming childcare or dependent relative allowance will remain at £8.45 per hour this year – but can be higher were the child or relative has additional needs.

The allowance will increase by inflation over the following three years, from 2021/22 to 2023/24.