Next Bristol mayor's pay to 'match salary of MP'

Marvin Rees
Image caption A report said directly elected mayors played a "significant role on a national level" and "should be rewarded as such"

The next mayor of Bristol is set to receive a pay rise of almost £9,000 to match the salary to that of an MP.

The increase to the elected mayor's salary is being recommended by an independent review panel, from the current level of £70,605 to £79,468.

The changes will apply to whoever is elected in May 2020. The role is currently held by Labour's Marvin Rees.

Rises to other councillors' allowances will also be decided at a Bristol City Council meeting later.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said there was no mention of any back pay for the mayor.

The proposed changes to members' allowances would cost taxpayers an extra £139,926 a year, taking the overall bill from £1.28m to £1.42m.

This would include an increase of just over £1,000 in the basic allowance all councillors are entitled to, taking it to £13,946.

'High-profile role'

A report to councillors said Mr Rees's pay comprised of a special responsibility allowance (SRA) but not the basic allowance.

An SRA is paid to selected councillors and the amount - set by the Members' Remuneration Independent Review Panel - varies depending on their duties and responsibilities.

The report said: "The panel was of the understanding that this [basic allowance] payment should have been made since the directly elected mayor position was created in 2012.

"The panel also noted that when the directly elected mayor's special responsibility allowance was originally set, it matched that of an MP. Over time, it has not kept up to date with MPs' basic allowance.

"This is an extremely high-profile and demanding role, not without risk, and should be rewarded as such."

The panel recommended reducing the next mayor's SRA to £65,512, but then topping it up with the basic allowance, taking the overall salary to £79,468 - the same as an MP.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Brislington West Andrew Varney said: "The Liberal Democrats accept the findings of that independent review panel.

"And we're also pleased that they took into consideration our recommendations to limit pay increases for the directly elected mayor."

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