Fee for top Derby council role goes up by £8k

The fee will be paid when there are local elections
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The payment fee given to a returning officer for managing Derby City Council elections is to rise by almost £8,000.

At a meeting, councillors gave the nod to plans to increase the fee given to the authority’s returning officer, from £340 to £8,297, when covering a full election.

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It means the council’s current returning officer, Emily Feenan, will be paid the full fee for covering the recent local election in Derby.

The same full payment will be given in 2027 to whoever is the returning officer as that is when the next full election is scheduled. 

Additional payments would be made should a by-election be held, with the fee based on the electorate size for the ward being represented.

The returning officer has the responsibility “to ensure that the local election is administered effectively and that the experience of voters is a positive one”.

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They are personally liable for the conduct of the election and should demonstrate robust planning and effective decision-making.

Ahead of the full council meeting last wek, a report to councillors said the current fee of £340 was “not reflective of the personal responsibility and duties and skills required for the role, the recent boundary changes that have taken place across the city and the change to whole council elections”.

Ms Feenan left the council chamber when the decision was being made at the meeting.

Derby City Council leader Baggy Shanker said the three-figure sum being paid was not acceptable given the current role’s responsibilities.

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He said at the meeting: “The change to four year-cycles has given us the opportunity to revisit that fee that is paid to our returning officer. This is not an annual fee - it will be paid when there are local elections.

“I am sure every member in this chamber would agree that £340 is not an acceptable fee for the added responsibility and pressure that the returning officer is under when delivering elections. The proposed fee is in line with other local authorities and probably on the lower side of that. I have no hesitation in recommending that we make this change.”

No other councillor made a statement when invited to do so.

The recommendation to approve was then voted through and carried.

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