COUNCILLORS TO VOTE ON ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE

Next week's Full Council meeting will vote on a recommendation to offer a special allowance to Councillors attending over 75% of their scheduled meetings and training events. 

In a move designed to encourage better attendance among Councillors and encourage younger, employed people to stand, a four person independent panel suggested that those present at over three quarters of their meetings be paid a yearly allowance of £400 in arrears. 

In the last six months, Cllr Robert Dorrien-Smith has been at 33% of meetings he is scheduled to attend, while Cllr James Francis is on 45% and Cllr Fraser Hicks 55%.

At the other end of the scale, Chairman Amanda Martin and Vice-Chair Steve Sims, who are expected at meetings of all committees (bar IFCA in Cllr Sims's case), stand at 95 and 100% respectively. Cllrs Gaz O'Neill, Fran Grottick and Avril Mumford also have 100% attendance, while Gordon Bilsborough has missed only one meeting on medical grounds.

Off-island Councillors inevitably have a lower record due to the weather impeding their attendance. However, Cllrs Mollie Peacock, Mike Nelhams and Colin Daly are all at 75% or over.

All Councillors missing meetings have offered their apologies at the time.

The panel also suggested that a Civic Allowance be given to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of £2,000 and £500 respectively, saying they had "become aware, that the Chairman and Vice Chairman of Council often had calls on their private purse far beyond that of even Chairmen of Committee". A Civic Allowance is common in many other authorities. 

They further recommended that off-island Councillors attending morning and afternoon meetings on St Mary's on the same day be given up to £8 for a meal.

The new measures, if agreed, would be implemented in May 2017. 

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