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MEMBERS ALLOWANCES SCHEME - DEPENDENT CARERS ALLOWANCE

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					STANDARDS COMMITTEE - 10 APRIL 2001
                                                                           D

MEMBERS' ALLOWANCES SCHEME - DEPENDENT CARERS'
ALLOWANCE


1.   INTRODUCTION

     1.1   Following the adoption of the new scheme of Members' Allowances in
           October 2000, the Council has agreed some relatively minor
           amendments to the scheme for implementation from May 2001.
           These are:

           (a)     Payment of a dependent carer's allowance;
           (b)     Discontinuance of the payment of Conference Attendance
                   Allowance;
           (c)     Reducing the minimum mileage before mileage allowance is
                   paid for attendance at courses, conferences, etc., from 30
                   miles to 15 miles round trip.

     1.2   A recommendation to clarify to whom a Councillor is entitled to pay
           the dependent carer's allowance claimed from the Council was agreed
           by the Committee at its meeting on 27 February. As there has not
           been a meeting of the Council since that date, this recommendation
           has not yet been considered by the Council. This report suggests
           further clarification of the circumstances in which the dependent
           carer's allowance will be payable, in the light of the draft Government
           Guidance recently received.


2.   DEPENDENT CARER'S ALLOWANCE

     2.1   It has been agreed that, with effect from May 2001, a dependent
           carer's allowance of £4 per hour be paid, subject to the following -

           (i)     a maximum allowance of 8 hours per week;
           (ii)    the allowance being paid in respect of -
                   (a)     care for dependent children under 14, living at home
                           with the Councillor;
                   (b)     elderly or dependent relatives living at the same
                           address as the Councillor and in need of full-time care
           (iii)   councillors claiming the allowance declaring that the minder or
                   carer is not an immediate member of the family and is over 16
                   years of age.

     2.2   A recommendation is being submitted to the Council on 23 April that
           "immediate member of the family" be defined as "a member of the
           Councillor's own household living at the same address as the
           Councillor and the dependant requiring care".




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2.3   The recent DETR draft Guidance on Members' Allowances suggests
      that any dependent carers' allowance for which provision is made in
      Councils' schemes should be paid when the Councillor is undertaking
      "approved duties". The draft Guidance lists those duties regarded as
      "approved duties" in various pieces of legislation. It is considered
      that the Council's Scheme should include reference to this.

2.4   If this recommendation is adopted, the section in the Allowances
      Scheme relating to Dependent Carer's Allowance will read as follows:

      "Dependent Carer's Allowance

      A dependent carer's allowance of £4 per hour will be paid to those
      Councillors who incur expenditure for the care of dependent relatives
      or children whilst the councillor is undertaking approved duties,
      subject to the following -

      (i)        a maximum allowance of 8 hours per week;
      (ii)       the allowance being paid in respect of -
                 (a)     care for dependent children under 14, living at home
                         with the councillor;
                 (b)     elderly or dependent relatives living at the same
                         address as the Councillor and in need of full time care;
      (iii)      councillors claiming the allowance declaring that the minder or
                 carer is not an immediate member of the family and is over 16
                 years of age."

2.5   The definitions in the Scheme will include the following -

      "immediate member of the family" means a member of the
      Councillor's own household living at the same address as the
      Councillor and the dependant requiring care.

      "approved duty" means -

      •       A meeting of the Executive
      •       A meeting of a committee of the Executive
      •       A meeting of the authority
      •       A meeting of a committee or sub-committee of the authority
      •       A meeting of some other body to which the authority makes
              appointments or nominations
      •       A meeting of a committee or sub-committee of a body to which the
              authority makes appointments or nominations
      •       A meeting which has both been authorised by the authority, a
              committee or sub-committee of the authority or a joint committee
              of the authority and one or more other authorities, or a sub-
              committee of a joint committee and to which representatives of
              more than one political group have been invited
      •       A meeting of a local authority association of which the authority is
              a member
      •       Duties undertaken on behalf of the authority in pursuance of any
              standing order requiring a member or members to be present
              while tender documents are opened



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              •     Duties undertaken on behalf of the authority in connection with the
                    discharge of any function of the authority conferred by or under
                    any enactment and empowering or requiring the authority to
                    inspect of authorise the inspection of premises


3.     IMPLEMENTATION DATE OF CHANGES TO THE SCHEME

       3.1    The changes to the scheme already agreed have been approved with
              effect from May 2001. It is suggested that, to avoid confusion, the
              implementation date be 22 May 2001, the day following the annual
              meeting of the Council.


4.     FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

       4.1    None arising from this report. The financial implications of
              introducing the dependent carers' allowance were reported to the
              Committee in December 2000. They are thought to be minimal, in the
              region of a few hundred pounds per year.


5..    ENVIRONMENTAL AND CRIME & DISORDER IMPLICATIONS

       5.1    None.


6.     RECOMMENDATION:

       6.1    That the Scheme of Members' Allowances be amended to include
              provision -

              (i)  that the dependent carer's allowance will be paid whilst the
                   councillor is undertaking approved duties
              (ii) for the definition of "approved duty" as reflected in paragraph 2.3
                   above.

       6.2    That these and other amendments to the scheme agreed for
              implementation in May 2001 take effect from 22 May 2001 (the day
              following the annual meeting of the Council).



Further information:                                        Background Papers

Rosemary Rutins                                             Published documents
Democratic Services Manager                                 Draft DETR Guidance on
Tel (023) 8028 5381                                         Members' Allowances
E-mail: rosemary.rutins@nfdc.gov.uk                                dated February
               2001




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