Consultation on Councillor Contributions (Tithing)

ALDC is currently consulting councillors in England regarding some proposed changes to the rules around Councillor Contributions (AKA ‘Tithing’ – the amount most of us pay to Party funds as a percentage of our councillor allowances).

The English Party is considering changing the rules on this and we are keen to make sure that Councillors view’s are heard. 

As a reminder:

Back in January, the English Party set up a Tithing Working Group to look at this issue following a resolution by English Council (the English Party’s decision making body). Tithing is already established in the Constitution as a principle, with 10% a recommended figure now for many years. There are provisions to take account of hardship and there are no proposals to remove these. 

The proposed change would make a minimum 10% contribution required everywhere.

You can read the full report regarding tithing here.

Please take part in this short survey to express your view.

Responses will be presented anonymously to English Council before the constitutional amendment is discussed. 

The deadline for responding to the consultation is Friday 29 October 2021.

Gillian Smith says

I am not a councillor but a local party chair, and ALDC member.
10% compulsory puts all Cllrs on an equal footing. Since we implemented this we have had no issues with non payment

Robert Douglas says

Hi Gillian,
I am not a Borough Councillor but I am a Town Councillor and Constituency Treasurer.
In my view, 10% of GROSS Allowance is too high.
It should be set at 10% of NET Allowance.
There is a balance here between appropriate funding from Councillors and not discouraging members from standing.

Jan loft says

I already pay 10% of my allowance which isn’t a problem as you get so much back for that, however I then have to be high tax on the allowance because I need to work too. This is frustrating when some councillors do not pay the 10% and still get everything you would if you did! Personally it should be 10% compulsory however anymore than that for those that work also would make it unmanageable to do enough in the role. I take unpaid time off for meetings and wouldn’t be able to do so if we lost more allowance

Paul Holmes says

Chesterfield LD Cllrs adopted a voluntary policy to pay 7.5% of pre tax Cllrs contributions (on all allowances) back in the late 1990's. In 2019, following that years Borough elections, we increased it to 10%. This money has provided the core funding for our campaign activities for almost a quarter of a century now.

As long as the money is going into local campaigning I can see no objection at all to this policy (with the detailed hardship considerations) being compulsory. I understand that the proposed English Party constitutional amendment, that has been notified to Local Party Officers, has stirred up some controversy because it does not specify Local Party but adds 'wider party' in the explanatory introduction. Any suggestion of diverting this money to Regional or National Party I would entirely oppose -they have already appropriated almost the entirety of membership subscriptions.

I would also like to know if the same rule does/will apply to other elected posts such as MP/Mayor/MSP/Assembly Members etc. When I was elected as an MP I automatically paid 7.5% of my salary into the local campaign fund from 2001-2010, as per our then voluntary 7.5% for Cllrs allowances. If this rule applies to Cllrs and bars them from standing/taking the Group Whip if they don't pay, then the same rule should apply to all elected to renumerated public office by the collective effort and expense of Liberal Democrat campaigns.

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