Camden’s politicians in line for 1.75 per cent pay rise

Camden Town Hall

Politicians in Camden are getting an 1.75 per cent increase in their allowances.

The rise is in keeping with the pay rise for council staff and will be backdated to April, just before the local council elections.

However, it is well below the current 9.1 per cent inflation rate.

It means that all 54 ward councillors will be paid a £10,985 basic allowance to cover travel and subsistence costs if the increase is formally approved at a full council meeting next Monday.

In 2020/21, the basic allowance was £10,505.04.

The increase, including National Insurance payments, will cost the council £18,800.

At June’s audit and corporate governance committee, Conservative councillor Gio Spinella pointed out that the allowances paid by Camden are on the “lower side”.

He said: “I believe that the council allowances should be a bit more reflexive of the cost of living.”

Cllr Spinella said at some point the “hair shirt of austerity” has to “meet the realities of where we are in terms of living”, and that participation in democracy should face as “few barriers as possible”.

Ordinary ward councillors in Edinburgh currently get an allowance of £19,571. In 2021, Brent councillors received a £12,484 allowance.

The increase in Camden follows advice from an independent panel that looks at pay for councillors in London.

In January, the panel recommended raising all allowances every year to match the “headline figure” in the annual local government pay settlement.

The review said the impact of “huge changes” such as Covid and the cost-of-living crisis have had a “major impact on the demands placed on all councillors”.

Camden Council leader Georgia Gould will be paid £42,655, up from £40,800 last year, and her nine cabinet members will get £26,660 each, up from £25,500.

Liberal Democrat councillor Tom Simon, who is the new leader of the opposition, will receive £17,355 for his role, and mayor Nasim Ali will be paid the same amount.

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