The councillors' allowances system wasn't really designed with the modern leader + cabinet system in mind.
If you want people to commit to doing council cabinet roles full-time then it seems reasonable to factor in the precarious nature of the role (cabinet posts are essentially a one-year contract) when working out the allowances.
Galling as we constantly hear how cash strapped the council is, how they need to put up the council tax to help older people in the borough, and so on. then we hear that there is this kind of money for Golden Goodbyes. This money could be better spent than lavished on themselves.
These are public servants behaving like City fat cats with our money.
Councillors aren't employees though (they receive an allowance as office-holders), so these cabinet members don't have the the other usual statutory entitlements associated with employment.
I can understand why Southwark introduced this scheme, but it's an issue that should probably be dealt with as part of a more general reform of local government, rather than at borough level.
Without this extra measure, it's easy to imagine that a backbench councillor who was in secure employment would be very cautious about giving that up to serve in a cabinet post for perhaps just a year.
We have to think seriously about these things as a society if we are going to have high expectations of our elected representatives.
If we expect some of our councillors (ie the cabinet) to treat that role as a full-time job then we should pay them properly for that.
(Of course there are other debates too, like whether we would be better served by the old committee model of local government rather than the leader and cabinet system.)
I seriously can't believe how little we pay our council cabinet members. We're only offering a salary/allowance of £35k a year to run departments with budgets in the hundreds of millions?!? When you couple the low pay with the complete lack of job security, it's surprising that we can attract anyone remotely qualified at all. Plus, the "golden goodbye" payments were between £4k and £8k per person (and the cabinet member receiving £8k held the post for 8 years, so we're talking about £1k per year!) - hardly Goldman Sachs-like. For comparison, last year the AVERAGE pay at GS was £325,000...
But they're all on a good whack and they don't have to "run departments". Instead they have "portfolios" -- they have strategic oversight. People may find it hard to believe, but there is actually an employed management team - council workers - to physically run things on the ground.