Derby City Council leader Paul Bayliss may get pay rise of £11,220
THE leader of Derby City Council could get an extra allowance of up to £11,220, if the authority's councillors vote for the change.
It would mean the current incumbent, Councillor Paul Bayliss, would get the money on top of the almost £40,000-a-year he currently receives.
Cash would be taken from allowances given to six other councillors for being vice-chairmen of the authority's six commissions which scrutinise council plans.
It would not mean any additional cost to the taxpayer.
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The suggestion, from the council's Independent Remuneration Panel, which considers changes to members' allowances, has come as the council's staff face another year with a pay freeze.
A report from the seven-member panel, which includes business, human resources and legal experts, says it believes "the role of the leader of the council is undervalued in Derby".
It adds: "The role requires a significant time commitment. This has been reinforced by the current incumbent's personal decision to resign from other commitments."
Mr Bayliss said he had not considered the issue of whether he would accept the cash as no final decision on the panel's suggestion would be made by councillors until a full council meeting in May. But he confirmed that he voted against "a similar proposal" made last year. Mr Bayliss said: "I didn't think it would be appropriate at the time."
Asked whether he thought he deserved an increase, he said it wasn't for him to consider. He added: "People certainly don't come into this sort of job to make money."
Leading Tory councillor Phil Ingall said he believed the allowances system should stay as it is. He said: "It would be inappropriate for the leader to get a pay rise at this time of austerity."
Under the changes proposed in the panel's report, the vice-chairs' allowances would be halved to £1,870, freeing up £11,220.
Councillors will decide whether there is to be any change and, if so, how much of the £11,220 could end up as extra cash for the authority's leader at a full council meeting on May 22.
The same report recommends that there is no increase in other councillors' allowances. Asked about the ongoing pay freeze for city council employees, councillor Sarah Russell, cabinet member for resources, said: "Pay is reviewed on an annual basis and, as a result of the Government's decision to freeze public-sector pay and the national pay negotiations, we have sadly not been able to offer council employees a pay increase since 2009."