a PAY freeze for Scottish Borders Councillors meant that there was only a slight increase in overall salary costs in the last financial year (2010-11) compared with the year before, but the difference of £574.81 was the result of the salary year for 2009-10 being slightly short of a full calendar year.
In October last year councillors agreed to slight changes in executive posts and the vice convenor, saving £403.
Altogether the 34 Scottish Borders councillors were paid salaries totalling £645,939.20, the minimum salary being £16,234, and the maximum paid to the leader of the council, Councillor David Park who received £32,470.
Overall salaries and expenses cost a total of £725,969, and although travel expenses were down on the previous year, telephone and ICT expenses jumped to £41,566 from £15,385 the year before. The report on councillors expenses explains the difference as being: “The increase in costs is due to 2010/11 being the first year that it has been possible to allocate an amount for braodband to individual members.
“The total figure shown for 2010/11 therefore includes all annual line rentals amounting to £25,482 for the broadband lines, which enable members to conduct council business from home.”
Berwickshire councillors expenses: Michael Cook (East Berwickshire councillor and executive member for corporate improvement) - £24,164 salary and £6,271 expenses; Jim Fullarton (East Berwickshire councillor and executive member for roads and infrastructure) - £21,012 salary and £4,916 expenses; Trevor Jones (Mid Berwickshire councillor and vice chair of planning and building standards) - £16,233 salary and £3,581 expenses; Donald Moffat (Mid Berwickshire councillor and chairman of scutiny) - £18,123 salary and £3,595 expenses; David Raw (East Berwickshire councillor) - £18.414 salary and £1,943 expenses; Frances Renton (Mid Berwickshire councillor and executive member for social care and health) - £20,802 salary and £3,473 expenses.
Councillor Cook is also a member of COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) and is the body’s national spokesperson for strategic human resources issues for which he receives remuneration of approximately £10,000 a year.
The 32 local authorities in Scotland are divided into four bandings and Scottish Borders Council is one of 14 councils that fall into Band B, along with similar sized councils such as Dumfries and Galloway, the banding they are in limiting the maximum additional payment that can be paid to the council convener, which in SBC’s case is Councillor Alisdair Hutton, who receives a salary of £24,353.
The council is required to publish payments to councillors by June of each year to meet the requirements of the Local Government (Allowances and Expenses) (Scotland) Regulation 2007.