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Councils seek volunteers to recommend councillors’ allowances

Are you passionate about the local area? Would you like to be involved in setting councillors’ expenses and allowances that are reasonable for the work they do?

South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council are looking for volunteers to join an Independent Remuneration Panel to help review councillors’ allowances.

The councils are together looking to fill voluntary vacancies on a Joint Independent Remuneration Panel which will commence its work in October 2024. The panel will consist of at least three members of the public supported by council officers. It will meet to help produce a report, with the assistance of officers, and make recommendations to the councils about the allowances to pay elected councillors.

The panel will look to ensure local councillors give value for money, but also that they are not seriously out of pocket. They will look at aspects such as pay for comparable jobs, the responsibilities of different councillor roles, and the hours councillors work.

By law, we are required to appoint a panel of independent people and are inviting members of the local community, the business community or voluntary organisations to apply. Almost anyone eligible to stand as a district councillor can be on the panel although there are a few exclusions to ensure the panel is truly independent.

However, we do require that the Panel members have no interest that prohibits membership, such as being active in a political party, having a close personal relationship with a serving councillor or being a parish or town councillor in South Oxfordshire or Vale of White Horse district council areas. Nevertheless, we are very interested in applicants who work in either district or are part of the local community.

We would expect successful candidates to serve in the roles until May 2028, although after this initial review there is very little commitment needed. Although this is a purely voluntary role, reimbursement of travel will be made, however meetings of the Panel may be held virtually.

Please click here for the application pack. The closing date for applications is 22 February 2024.

For more information, email democratic.services@southandvale.gov.uk or call on 01235 422523.