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 presently paid to the Leader and Deputy Leader, executive portfolio holders and chairmen of all committees. A SRA is also paid to political group leaders for the performance of that role. 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. However from May 2019, Planning Committee substitutes will begin to 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. For full details of this allowance, please refer to the most recent Members' allowance scheme.
Members' allowance scheme
The Members' allowance scheme for 2022-23 details how allowances are paid to councillors and the current levels of allowance. The 2022-23 scheme was approved by Council on 7 December 2021. It forms part of the Constitution.
All allowances are subject to National Insurance and income tax deduction.
Councillors' allowances paid
We publish the allowances paid to councillors' in previous years.
Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel