Salary for the first East Midlands Mayor, Labour's Claire Ward, revealed

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The first East Midlands Mayor, Claire Ward, will be paid £93,000 a year and will have a deputy mayor on up to £46,500.

In May, just over a quarter of eligible voters cast their ballots in the inaugural East Midlands Mayor election, with Labour’s Claire Ward winning by a significant margin, claiming victory in almost all of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire’s boroughs.

Now the East Midlands Combined County Authority, of which Ms Ward is the figurehead and chair, is set to approve her salary, as recommended by an independent panel.

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At a meeting on Monday, June 17, the East Midlands super council is set to approve a £93,000 salary for Ms Ward.

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer embraces newly elected East Midlands Mayor Claire Ward.Labour Party leader Keir Starmer embraces newly elected East Midlands Mayor Claire Ward.
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer embraces newly elected East Midlands Mayor Claire Ward.

Ms Ward would also be able to claim expenses for travel, food and accommodation.

It would make Ms Ward the fifth highest paid mayor, behind Sadiq Khan in London (£160,976), Andy Burnham in Manchester (£114,000), Tracy Brabin in West Yorkshire (£105,000) and Steve Rotherham in Liverpool (£96,000).

The West Midlands Mayor salary is £79,000, with former Mayor, Andy Street, turning down a £16,000 pay rise in 2022, which would have brought it to £95,000.

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A deputy mayor role is also to be created but does not yet have an agreed job specification and until this is done the board is looking to approve a broad salary range instead.

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This would be a minimum of £18,600 and up to a maximum of £46,500.

Alongside this, their overall salary, combined with their local council salary, should be less than the lowest combined salary paid to a local council leader – a report details.

This also indicates that the deputy mayor of the authority will be an existing councillor, unlike Ms Ward, but would still be appointed and not directly elected.

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The members of the combined authority board, alongside Ms Ward, are the leaders and deputy leaders of Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council, Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council.

These are Cllr Baggy Shanker, Cllr Nadine Peatfield, Cllr Barry Lewis, Cllr Simon Spencer, Cllr Neghat Khan, Cllr Ethan Radford, Cllr Ben Bradley and Cllr Bruce Laughton.

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The councillors chairing the overview and scrutiny committee and the audit and governance committee will also be paid £9,500 each a year.

Meanwhile, the seven members of the scrutiny committee will be paid £1,000 a year and the eight members of the governance committee will also be paid £1,000 a year.

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Two independent people will be appointed and also paid £1,000 each a year.

Combined, the payments for the mayor, deputy, chairs, committee members and independent people will cost between £147,600 and £175,500.

This is separate from salaries paid to combined authority staff, with salaries so far disclosed for staff ranging from £23,151 up to £110,000 for a “low level director”.

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The salaries of the highest paid, the chief executive, executive directors and statutory chief officers have not been detailed but are listed as being subject to the appointments panel.

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Ms Ward and the combined authority board are also due to push forward with plans to spend £16.8 million to help support the building of houses on brownfield former industrial land across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

The combined authority had put out a call for sites to bid for funding with an aim to help deliver 1,000-1,400 homes by March 2026.

It received 50 submissions for a total of £76 million worth of funding to support 9,000 homes, which will now be assessed for selection by the Mayor, in consultation with the leaders and deputy leaders of the four councils (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire).

Approved schemes will be reported in September.

The Mayor and board are also set to sign off on the creation of an East Midlands Investment Zone – with full sign-off pending until after the General Election – which would include business rates and tax retention on three specific sites.

These are:

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  1. Infinity Park in Derby – to support growth around the Rolls-Royce facility
  2. Hartington/Staveley in Chesterfield – to support “high quality motorway and rail linkages”
  3. Laing O’Rourke’s Centre of Excellence in Modern Construction, Bassetlaw and Bolsover – to help development of modular construction hub

The investment zone is said to be valued at £160 million over ten years, split into two blocks of £80 million over the first five years and following five years.

It will act as a pot of funding to be invested into these three specific areas.