Councillors' remuneration and expenses: recommendations

Scottish Local Authorities Remuneration Committee (SLARC) was reconvened in April 2023 to undertake an independent review of councillor remuneration, having last reported in 2011.


Convenor - Angela Leitch CBE

Angela has significant leadership experience gained over many years in four local authorities of different sizes and demographics. Latterly she was Chief Executive of East Lothian council before being appointed in 2019 to lead the new national public health body, Public Health Scotland. Throughout her career she has worked closely with elected representatives and appreciates the time commitment and diversity of responsibilities that councillors can be required to undertake. She has chaired several national groups and is a past chair of SOLACE. In addition, Angela has experience of job evaluation and remuneration policy.

Peter Argyle

Peter served as a councillor on Aberdeenshire council from 1999 to 2022, holding a number of senior roles including Chair of the Infrastructure Services Committee (2008-15 and 2017-22) and Deputy Leader of the Council (2017-22). He also served as a member of the Cairngorms National Park Authority from 2015-18. Peter has an excellent understanding of the role of a councillor, gained through experience of the challenges and the satisfaction of public services, together with a deep knowledge of the work of Local Government and its partners.

Rosemary Docherty

Rosemary has more than 35 years’ experience working in the public sector as a management consultant specialising in reward, salary benchmarking and equalities. She has supported Scottish local government since 1998 as an independent technical expert in job evaluation, pay and grading, and gender equality. Rosemary provides training for Job Analysts and JE Appeal Panel Members in relation to the application of the Scottish Joint Council (SJC) JE Scheme for Local Government Employees; and supports Councils in undertaking reward structure design and equality impact assessments most recently in embedding the Scottish Local Government Living Wage in grading and pay structures. She served for more than 20 years as a member of the ACAS Panel of Independent Experts (Equal Value).

David Heaney

David joined Strathclyde Regional Council in 1985, and went onto work for Glasgow City, East Lothian and Fife Councils. He is a graduate of Strathclyde University and in his most recent role with Fife Health and Social Care Partnership he was responsible for a wide range of health and social care services and led a series of complex service transformation programmes and large-scale capital projects. In addition to his local government experience, David has worked for Audit Scotland, where he led full council Best Value audits, as director of a national charity, and worked for the NHS developing strategic partnerships with local authorities. During his time at East Lothian Council he was seconded to the Scottish Government to develop support systems for emerging health and social care partnerships.

Martin McElroy

Martin was first elected to Glasgow City Council in 2012 and served until 2022. During this time, he served as the Labour Group Spokesperson for Personnel, a member of Glasgow's Workforce Board, and a COSLA delegate to SOLACE. He is particularly interested in tackling the barriers that young people and people with caring responsibilities face when considering elected office. Outwith elected politics, Martin has held management roles in the charitable and housing sector and is currently the Chief Executive of a development trust in Glasgow. Martin is a graduate of Strathclyde University (BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences, 2009) and Queen Margaret University (MSc Strategic Communications, 2019).

Laura Simpson

Laura Simpson possesses a comprehensive knowledge and extensive experience of democratic processes and the role of Elected Members, having worked effectively with Councillors for over 25 years. As the former Head of HR & OD at Aberdeenshire Council, she was responsible for Councillors’ induction, learning and development as well as pay and remuneration. As the Professional Adviser to the Council on all workforce matters, she worked closely with the recognised Trade Unions to maintain effective employee relations and to also ensure collaborative working between the Unions and Councillors. During her career, Laura led the successful implementation of new pay and grading structures as well as revised terms and conditions for local government employees.



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