Members' Allowances Scheme 2023/24
Members' Allowances Scheme
All Councillors are entitled to receive a basic allowance. There are also special responsibility allowances for certain roles such as Leader of the Council, Executive member or being Chairman of the Council or a Committee.
The Members’ Allowance Scheme sets out the amount of Basic and Special Responsibility Allowances paid to Councillors, together with what Members can claim in respect of Childcare and Dependent Carers’ allowances and travel and subsistence allowances.
Each local authority is required to consider the recommendations of an Independent Remuneration Panel both in setting up their Scheme and with respect to the amounts and levels payable. At the 27 February 2023 Council meeting, Members agreed to increase the basic allowance and all special responsibility allowances in line with the staff cost of living pay award for 2023/24, 2.75 per cent effective 1 April 2023. Details of the allowances payable in are set out below.
Each year, the council publishes an annual report showing the total allowances, including travel and subsistence claims, paid to each councillor.
Cherwell District Council has made the following Members’ Allowances Scheme under the Local Government Act 2000 and the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003.
The Scheme may be cited as the Cherwell District Council Members’ Allowance Scheme and shall have effect for the year 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.
In this Scheme:
- “Councillor” means an elected Member of Cherwell District Council who is a Councillor
- “Independent Person” means a person who is not an elected Member nor an officer of the council but who has been appointed by Council to serve on the Accounts, Audit and Risk Committee or pursuant to requirements of the Localism Act 2011 and the Local Authorities (Standing Orders)(England)(Amendment) Regulation 15
- “Co-optee” means a person who is not a elected Member nor an officer who has been appointed to a committee, sub-committee or working group
- “Year” refers to 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024
In accordance with the Local Authority's (Members' Allowances) (England) Regulation 15, details of the total sum paid to each recipient made under the Cherwell District Council Members' Allowances Scheme in respect of the Basic Allowance, Special Allowance, Independent Persons and Co-optees' Allowance is available for download on the Cherwell District Council website, by contacting the Assistant Director Law and Governance, firstname.lastname@example.org or from the council offices, Bodicote House, Bodicote, Oxfordshire, OX15 4AA.
2. Basic Allowance
A basic allowance of £4836 shall be paid to each Councillor.
The following are specified as the special responsibilities in respect of which special responsibility allowances are payable, and the amounts of these allowances
3. Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA)
Councillors with particular leading roles receive a Special Responsibility Allowance commensurate with the duties they undertake in that role.
The following roles are specified as the special responsibilities in respect of which special responsibility allowances are payable, and the amounts of these allowances:
|Special Responsibility Allowance
|Chairman of the Council
|Leader of the Council
|Deputy Leader of the Council
|Executive Members holding a Portfolio
|Leader of the Opposition
|Chairman of Accounts, Audit and Risk Committee
|Chairman of Appeals Panel
|£288 SRA plus £288 per meeting to a capped limit of £1728 per annum
|Chairman of Budget Planning Committee
|Chairman of Licensing Committee
|Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny Committee
|Chairman of Personnel Committee
|Chairman of Planning Committee
|Chairman of Standards Committee
4. Independent Persons Allowance
An allowance of £828 shall be paid to each Independent Person appointed to serve on the Accounts, Audit and Risk Committee or appointed pursuant to the requirements of the Localism Act 2011 and the Local Authorities (Standing Orders)(England)(Amendment) Regulation 15.
5. Co-optees Allowance
An allowance of £828 shall be paid to co-optees.
6. Councillors Appointed an Non-Executive Director of Graven Hill Village Companies
Councillors appointed as Non-Executive Directors on Graven Hill Village Holding Company Limited and Graven Hill Village Development Company Limited shall be paid an allowance of £4788, recharged to the company.
Expenses shall be paid at the same levels set out in Sections 7, 8 and 9 of this Scheme and shall be recharged to the company.
7. Travelling Allowances
Where a Councillor, Independent Person or co-optee is entitled to receive a travelling allowance, the expenditure must have been necessarily incurred for the purposes of enabling that Councillor, Independent Person or co-optee to perform an approved duty as a Member of the Council or in their role as an Independent Person or co-optee and claimed in accordance with section 8.2 of this Scheme.
Mileage is paid at the HMRC approved rates. If any adjustments are implemented by HMRC during the period of the Scheme, the revised rates will be applied to Councillors travel allowances at the date of implementation by HMRC.
The current HMRC approved rates are:
|20p per mile
|24p per mile
|45p per mile
|Electric or similar Specialised Vehicles
|45p per mile
(Motor vehicle and motor cycle rates apply whatever the cc of the vehicle concerned)
Actual costs incurred for parking fees and/or toll charges, travel by public transport or taxi will be paid subject to fulfilling the requirements set out in this Scheme.
Where a Councillor, Independent Person or co-optee is entitled to receive a subsistence allowance, the expenditure must have been necessarily incurred for the purposes of enabling that Councillor, Independent Person or co-optee to perform an approved duty as a Member of the Council or in their role as an Independent Person or co-optee and claimed in accordance with this Scheme.
Where required, overnight accommodation should be booked via Democratic Services.
Subsistence allowance payments shall be made at actual expenditure up to the maximum specified in this Scheme subject to the proviso that, as described, every claim is accompanied by a declaration that such expenditure has been necessarily incurred in the performance of an approved duty, a declaration certifying the period a Councillor, Independent Person or co-optee is away from their normal place of residence and a receipt or receipts showing clearly and accurately the amount of expenditure incurred.
Where meals are provided as part of an event free of charge, claims may not be submitted in relation that that period.
Subsistence allowances are payable up to the maximum amounts detailed below are:
|more than 4 hours away from the normal place of residence before 11am
more than 4 hours away from the normal place of residence including the lunchtime between 12noon and 2pm
|Evening Meal Allowance
more than 4 hours away from the normal place of residence ending after 7pm
9. Dependent Carers' and Childcare Allowances
Dependent Carers’ and childcare allowances shall be paid when a Councillor has necessarily incurred expenditure for the care of a dependent or children when undertaking any "approved duty".
The allowances shall be paid:
- Subject to the submission of receipts
- The allowance may not be paid to a member of the claimant’s household
- On the basis of the actual costs incurred up to the maximum hourly rate set out below and to a maximum cap of 40 hours per month:
- Dependent carers’ - £20 per hour
- Childcare - £10 per hour
Payment of Basic, Special Responsibility, Independent Persons and co-optees allowances and that of Non-Executive Directors shall be paid in monthly instalments on or before the twenty-third day of each month by means of bank credit transfer.
Payment of travelling, subsistence, dependent carers’ and childcare allowances shall be made on or before the twenty-third day of each month in respect of claims received up to the fifth day of each month.
11. Part-year Entitlements
During the operation of the Scheme, where there is an amendment to the Scheme or where there is a change to the person receiving the allowance, the Scheme shall be applied on a daily pro-rate basis with any overpayment paid back to the council.
A Councillor may, by notice in writing given to the Assistant Director Law and Governance, forego any part of their entitlement to an allowance under this Scheme.
13. Repayment of Allowance
Where a Councillor, Independent Person or co-optee has already received payment of allowances, travelling, subsistence, dependent carers’ or childcare allowance payments in respect of any period during which they cease to be hold that role or are in any way not entitled to receive such allowance/payment in respect of that period, they are required to repay that allowance/payment for the period in question to the council.
Claims for mileage, associated travel costs (parking fees, tolls), travel by public transport or taxi shall be reimbursed provided the expenditure involved has been necessarily incurred to enable a Councillor, Independent Person or co-optee to perform an “approved duty”. Payments shall be made subject to the proviso that tickets and/or receipts must be submitted. Fuel receipts must also be submitted for mileage claims, unless the vehicle registered is an electric vehicle.
A claim for any travelling and subsistence allowances under this Scheme shall be made monthly in writing on a form supplied for that purpose by the Assistant Director Law and Governance or through the online claim form and in any event within two months of the date of the meeting or other “approved duty” in respect of which the entitlement to the allowance arises.
A monthly claim for dependent carers’ allowance and/or childcare allowance shall be made in writing on a form supplied for that purpose by the Assistant Director Law and Governance or through the online claim form and in any event within two months of the date of the meeting or other “approved duty”. Payments shall be made subject to the proviso that receipts must be submitted.
15. Councillors Appointed as Non-Executive Director expense claims.
Claims for expenses incurred whilst on business for Graven Hill Villages Limited Holding Company or Development Company should be submitted on a separate claim form. All expenses will be recharged to the relevant company.
16. List of Approved Duties for the Payment of Travelling and Subsistence Allowances
It remains a condition of the payment of travelling and subsistence allowances that the duty for which they are paid has been approved before the duty is performed. It is therefore necessary for the Assistant Director Law and Governance to approve any additional duties over and above those referred to prior to any duty which may qualify for travelling and subsistence allowances taking place.
Current list of “approved duties”:
- Formal meetings of Council
- Formal meetings of Executive, Council Committees and Sub-Committees where the Councillor is a member / appointed substitute
- Informal meetings of working groups / advisory groups established by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Council or Executive.
- Meetings of Outside Bodies and Partnerships where the Member has been formally appointed as a representative of the Council.
- Local Government Association Committees/Groups/Assemblies and one-off conferences and seminars provided such attendance has first been approved by the Council.
- Attending as the Council’s representative at a National Conference, Seminar or training course provided such attendance has first been approved by the Council.
- All in-house or external training sessions organised by or on behalf of the Council
- When acting as Chairman or Vice-Chairman on behalf of their respective Chairman subject to the duty or occasion falling into the special responsibility criteria
- Formal/informal meetings of Members called in pursuance of any function of the Council.
- Attending a meeting when a motion proposed by a Member has been referred to a Committee for consideration.
- Attending a Council meeting when a motion proposed by them has been referred by Council to a meeting for consideration.
- When Members address a Council meeting on which they are not serving on a matter which directly and specifically affects their Ward.
- When the Group Leaders, or their nominated deputies, attend a council meeting on which they are not Serving Members.
- When acting as a Council’s appointed Champion.
- When attending a meeting by invitation of that committee.
17. Site Visits
Travelling allowances shall be paid to those Councillors in respect of each occasion on which that Councillor undertakes a site visit to areas within the District which are subject to reports on an agenda for a formal meeting of Council, Council Committee and Sub-Committee.
Payments shall be made subject to the following criteria:-
- A site shall only be visited where it is considered essential that a close personal knowledge of it is necessary in order for the Councillor concerned to be able to properly consider the item at Council, Executive, Committee or Working Group meetings.
- Sites may only be visited by serving Councillors on a Committee or Sub-Committee (and Members who are to attend the meeting in question) which is to consider the issue.
- Site visits will be of greater frequency for Councillors serving on the Planning Committee, and where a formal site meeting takes place, a Councillor entitled to attend will only be able to make one claim in respect of such visit notwithstanding that the visit claimed for might occur at some other time to meet the Councillor’s personal convenience.
- Where a series of sites are to be visited, the most economical route between those sites shall be chosen and every endeavour to avoid return trips to the same location shall be made (ie sites in the same locality should be visited at the same time).
- Full details of claims for travelling to sites shall be included on the form supplied for that purpose by the Assistant Director Law and Governance.
- The approval of a travelling allowance for site visits does not extend to any site outside the Council's area and any such ad hoc approval in this regard shall be given by the Executive, Committee or Working Group dealing with the issue under consideration before such a visit takes place.
- Any requests made by the public for Councillors to visit sites shall not be approved for travelling allowance purposes unless the issue concerned forms part of a current agenda item/report which has still to be considered by the Executive, Committee, Working Group or Council and in such circumstances visits should only be made after a Councillor has exercised careful judgement as to whether such a visit is justified and necessary.
- When Members undertake site visits they shall have due regard at all times, and act accordingly, to the requirements of any national or local code of conduct Good Practice Guidance or Protocols operated or adopted by the Council.
Councillors are not eligible to join the Local Government Pension Scheme.
19. Membership of Another Authority
Where a Councillor is also a Member of another authority from which allowances can be claimed that Councillor must not claim nor receive any allowances from more than one authority in respect of the same duties.
20. Annual Review of Scheme
This Scheme shall be reviewed annually by the council’s Independent Remuneration Panel who will make recommendations for the Scheme for the forthcoming financial year for consideration by Councillors at their February Council.
Published 1 April 2023.