By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
The Independent Alliance’s victory in the Nottinghamshire County Council Eastwood by-election puts senior members of the group in line for a pay rise.
The group, led by Councillor Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), is now on an equal footing with Labour as the main opposition group at County Hall.
Both groups have 15 councillors on the authority after Cllr Kane Oliver (Ind) secured the 41-vote win on November 3.
Now papers have revealed an Independent Remuneration Panel review – which sets councillors’ pay – could lead to financial changes for both groups.
The balance shake-up means Cllr Zadrozny would see his special responsibility allowance rise by £5,911.49 to £17,734.46.
He previously received £11,822.97 as leader of the smaller opposition group.
This is because he is now joint-leader of the opposition alongside Labour’s Cllr Kate Foale, who would see her allowance reduced by the same figure.
She had previously received £23,645.95 as the leader of the main opposition group but will now receive the same sum and share the role with Cllr Zadrozny.
The deputy leaders of the two opposition groups may now also both receive £6,448.89, as well as the group managers of both groups.
The Labour Group’s representatives had both previously received £8,598.53, while the Independent Alliance representatives received £4,299.26.
A report summarising the panel’s review said: “It is suggested that the existing opposition group descriptors are amended.
“For those circumstances where there is an equal number of members and no longer a ‘main’ and ‘smaller’ opposition groups, [this will] describe them as simply Opposition Groups.
“Should a further change in numbers occur, or a smaller separate group be established at any point during the current administration, then the terminology should be reviewed at that point.”
All councillors on the authority also receive a basic allowance of £15,015 for being an elected member. This is not recommended to change in the review.
The changes will be discussed at the Conservative-run authority’s full council meeting on Thursday (November 24).