Allowances paid to county councillors are to increase by 3.96 per cent, after being agreed by a meeting of the county council.

The increase – which is reported to be consistent with the percentage increase awarded to local government staff earning a median wage – was proposed by the Independent Panel on Members’ Allowances.

It will be implemented from April, after being backed by a meeting of the full county council on Tuesday, February 13.

As a result, the ‘basic allowance’ that can be claimed by all 78 county councillors will increase by £448 a year, to £11,751.

‘Special responsibility allowances’ (SRA) – an additional amount for councillors with roles such as cabinet members, committee chairs and opposition spokespersons – will increase by the same 3.96 percentage.

That means that from April, the leader of the county council will be eligible for a special responsibility allowance of £47,004 – an increase of £1,792.

The SRA for the deputy council leader will be increased by £1,344 to £35,253.

Meanwhile, executive members will receive an SRA of £23,502 – which is an increase of £896 compared to 2023/24.

Deputy executive members will be eligible for an SRA of £11,751 – an increase of £448 compared to 2023/24.

However where an individual councillor holds more than one position of responsibility, only one ‘special responsibility allowance’ can be claimed – on top of the ‘basic’ allowance.

Leaders of the opposition groups receive an allowance that is dependent on the number of elected councillors in their party – but will increase by the same percentage.

Up to five spokespersons from the Liberal Democrat Party and three from the Labour Party will be able to claim an SRA of £5,875.

Meanwhile the SRAs available for the chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee and the chairman of the health scrutiny committee will now be set at £17,626.

In coming-up with their recommendations the Independent Panel on Members Allowances heard from Conservative Cllr Richard Roberts, Liberal Democrat Cllr Steve Jarvis and Labour Cllr Nigel Bell.

They also considered a written submission from leader of the Independent/Green group Cllr Ben Crystall.

The panel compared Hertfordshire allowances to those offered by 12 other county councils – finding the average basic allowance to be £12,420.

That’s £669 more than Herts county councillors will be eligible for from April.