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Special Responsibility Allowances approved at full council meeting

Allowances, councillor conduct on social media and the refurbishment of York House in Windsor were discussed at council on Tuesday.

The meeting, at Windsor Guildhall, saw councillors agree to introduce Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA) for the chairman of the borough-wide development management panel, the mayor and deputy mayor and councillors who are non-executive directors of Optalis, the company that runs the borough’s adult services.

Council leader Cllr Simon Dudley, (Con, Riverside) who presented the paper, described the changes as ‘important and modest’.

The report proposed an SRA of £7,185 for the chairman of the borough-wide development management panel, currently Cllr David Burbage, (Con, Bray). Cllr Burbage already receives £5,987 as chairman of Maidenhead Development Management Panel, therefore he will only be given the difference of £1,198.

An SRA of £3,000 will be paid to the mayor and £1,000 to the deputy mayor.

The report said the mayor undertook significantly more engagements than those in neighbouring authorities. It also said their current allowances of £10,000 and £5,000 were to cover ‘actual expenditure’ they incur in their civic role.

Cllr Phillip Bicknell (Con, Park), cabinet member for highways and transport, supported the paper. He said: “It’s been a long time coming and I’m pleased to see after many years the mayoral team is being recognised in terms of the expense that goes along with the role.”

The report also proposed £3,000 be paid to Cllr John Story (Con, Sunninghill and South Ascot), Cllr MJ Saunders (Con, Cookham) and Cllr Quick for their roles as non executive directors of Optalis, (to be funded by Optalis).

Councillors are only allowed to take one SRA and the sum paid to them will be the highest eligible allowance.

Cllr MJ  Saunders, Cllr John Lenton and Cllr Eileen Quick already receive another SRA from other positions so will not receive the increases.

A report on constitutional amendments was also agreed which will see the council review its social media policy and develop a dedicated policy for councillors.

Last month the council came under fire for not having a dedicated policy for councillors after two complaints were received against Cllr Saunders.

The council also approved £9.6m for the refurbishment of York House, in Windsor, due to be finished by November next year.

A list of SRA and the amounts can be found on the council constitution on the borough website.

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