CPON has been at the forefront of the campaign to change Government legislation governing the work of Political Assistants.
The network has been primarily concerned with the removal or increase of the salary cap that has been in place since 1995. This out of date pay cap – set before the housing boom of the late-90s - has meant that PAs have been increasingly left behind their local government counterparts as the cost of living has soared. In reality PAs have been expected to take real-term pay cuts each year.
Working closely with its Labour and Liberal Democrat equivalent organisations, CPON led the way in a Government consultation process in 2004. This finally led to temporary legislation being introduced in July 2006 that increased the pay cap. It is envisaged that in due course this new legislation will be succeeded by permanent legislation linking the salary cap to a point on the local government salary scale, meaning that the cap will always keep pace with inflation and local government pay awards.
Political Assistants, regardless of which political party they work for in local government, are all governed by two particular pieces of legislation:
Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (c.42)
The Act defined the role of Political Assistants is statue, ensuring that the role was “politically restricted”. In essence, this means that Political Assistants are not allowed to endorse or promote any political party in public – including canvassing during election periods.
Read the Act by clicking here.
The Local Government (Assistants for Political Groups) (Remuneration) (England) Order 2006
The Order increased the pay cap for Political Assistants from £25,044 (set in 1995) to £34,986.
Read the Order by clicking here.