To ensure that they are not financially penalised for carrying out their council duties, councillors receive from the council one or more allowances.
The allowances paid to councillors are defined within the council's Members' allowance scheme.
Councillors are able to claim a number of allowances. The main allowances paid are:
The basic allowance is an amount paid to every councillor (unless they decide not to claim it) for the performance of their duties. It reflects an assessment of the time required to undertake the role of a councillor and is discounted by 35% to reflect the element of public service involved in performing those duties.
Special responsibility allowance (SRA)
SRAs are paid to councillors who perform extra duties carrying a special responsibility or time commitment.
They are paid to the:
- Deputy Leader
- executive portfolio holders
- chairs of all committees
A SRA is also paid to political group leaders.
Committee member SRAs
Members of the Planning Committee receive a SRA in recognition of the more regular nature of meetings of that committee and the extra time commitment that entails, as do Licensing and Environmental Health Committee members who attend more than 5 extraordinary panel meetings per municipal year, again in recognition of the extra time commitment that this work entails.
Only one SRA may be paid to a member at any one time.
Planning Committee substitutes receive a SRA provided they attend at least 25% of Planning Committee meetings in that capacity. These members will also be able to claim an additional SRA because, as substitutes, they do not fulfil a duty that they have agreed to take on as a permanent role, but instead are filling in for other councillors as and when necessary.
Travel and subsistence allowance
Travel and subsistence expenses are paid to members who claim for reimbursement of reasonable costs that have been necessarily incurred in undertaking a range of approved duties as defined in the scheme.
Travel costs are paid at the rate set by the Inland Revenue (currently 45p per mile). Reimbursement is also made of costs incurred on journeys undertaken by public transport upon the production of receipts. Subsistence may be paid for other expenses incurred on approved duties such as overnight stays or on carers' allowance.
Members' allowance scheme
The Members' allowance scheme for 2023-24 explains how allowances are paid to councillors and the current levels of the allowance.
Councillors' allowances paid
We publish information on the allowances paid to councillors in previous years.
All allowances are subject to National Insurance and income tax deduction.
Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel
The council is required to maintain an Independent Remuneration Panel to make annual recommendations as to the level of the Basic Allowance and the type and level of SRAs.
In making a scheme of allowances, the council is required to have regard to the recommendations of an independent panel but is not bound by them.
The panel's annual report sets out their recommendations for members' allowances for the year 2023-24.