SLOUGH councillors could receive a pay rise – if they vote in favour of it at the next council meeting.

At tomorrow’s (November 24) virtual meeting, councillors have been recommended to accept amendments by the Independent Remuneration Panel – which is a separate entity from the council and determines the level of payments to elected members – to raise their basic allowance from £7,779 to £8,438 – a £659 increase.

Councillors across the country are paid basic allowances each year so they are not financially penalised when carrying out their council duties and to cover expenses.

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Slough has the lowest basic allowance paid to councillors in Berkshire, so the panel recommended the change to their basic allowance in line with neighbouring councils.

Bracknell has a basic allowance of £8,687 – which is the highest in Berkshire – Windsor and Maidenhead has £8,143, and councillors from Reading Borough Council receive £8,220 a year.

The panel’s report states: “Benchmarking clearly shows that the Slough Basic Allowance has fallen behind that paid in peer councils.”

The panel also recommended the special responsibility allowance (SRA) – which covers the council leader, deputy leader, and cabinet members – should be increased too.

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The SRA of the leader of the council, councillor James Swindlehurst (Labour: Cippenham Green), currently stands at £20,224. It could be increased to £21,939.

The amount paid to councillor Sabia Akram (Labour: Elliman), deputy leader of the council, could go from £14,156 to £15,357.

The Independent Remuneration Panel also recommended raising Slough’s cabinet members’ SRA from £11,123 to £12,066.

Last month, councillors from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council heavily rejected the panel’s recommendations to raise their basic allowance, branding it ‘a slap in the face’ to residents.