Councillor Allowances and Expenses
As part of their roles as Elected Members, Councillors are eligible to receive a Basic Allowance to recognise the level of commitment expected and to cover the time element of meeting with constituents and officers and incidental expenses (use of home, postage costs, telephone calls, surgeries, etc.).
Members with significant additional responsibilities over and above the regular duties of a Member are also given a Special Responsibility Allowance. Additional allowances include Care for Children and Dependents, Travelling, Communications, and Subsistence.
The Council is legally required to operate an Independent Remuneration Panel in relation to councillors' allowances.
Independent Remuneration Panel
The Council is legally required to operate an Independent Remuneration Panel in relation to councillors' allowances. The Panel must consist of at least three people whose purpose is to make recommendations about the allowances paid to elected members. The Panel must review the Council's scheme each year. The Council must "have regard" to the Panel's recommendations, but need not follow them. Panel members cannot be a member of the Council or one of its committees, or of an authority in respect of which the Panel makes recommendations. In addition they must not be disqualified from being a member of a local authority.
The Panel receives information from councillors to enable them to reach informed decisions and considers comparative information from other councils, interview councillors and generally undertake whatever research they consider necessary to enable them to make well founded recommendations.