Members' Allowances Scheme 2019 to 2020
1. The payment of allowances to elected members of local authorities is governed by the Local Government (Members’ Allowances England) Regulations 2003 (“the Regulations”). This scheme is for 2019/20 and is effective from 1 April 2019.
Entitlement to Allowances
2. This scheme provides guidance in respect of:
- a basic allowance
- special responsibility allowances
- a dependent carers’ allowance
- travel allowances for duties undertaken within Dorset Council area
- travel and subsistence allowances for duties undertaken outside the Dorset Council area; and
- an allowance to co-opted and independent members
3.1 Elected members of Dorset Council receive a basic allowance to recognise the time devoted to carry out their work as councillors, including attendance at meetings, and ward activities. It is also intended to cover incidental costs such as in-area subsistence, use of members’ homes and private telephones and any IT consumables.
3.2 For the period 1 April 2019 – 6 May 2019, a basic allowance of £360 will be paid to all elected members. No individual may receive more than one basic allowance.
3.3 With effect from 6 May 2019, the basic allowance of £13,000 for 2019/20 will be paid in equal monthly instalments.
3.4 The basic allowance will be adjusted by an amount equivalent to any officers’ pay award for each subsequent year for the period up to the next review of the scheme.
Special Responsibility Allowances
4.1 Special Responsibility Allowances (SRAs) are paid in addition to the basic allowance to members who hold positions with significant responsibilities over and above the general duties of a councillor and are also paid in equal monthly instalments.
4.2 Members may not receive more than one SRA.
4.3 For the period 1 April 2019 – 6 May 2019, an SRA of £600 will be paid to each of the members of the continuing Executive Committee.
4.4 With effect from 6 May 2019, SRAs are payable are as follows:
Special Responsibility Allowances
| Member ||£ per annum|
|Leader of the Council
|Executive / Cabinet Members (including Deputy Leader)
|Chairman of the Council
|Vice-Chairman of the Council
|Chairmen of Audit and Governance Committee, all scrutiny committees and all planning committees (including strategic)
|Chairmen of all other committees listed in Article 8 and the Dorset police and crime Panel in Article 11 of the Dorset Council Constitution
|Minority Group Leaders (Note: Minority Parties must have a membership of not less than 10% of Dorset Council for their Leader to receive an SRA)
4.5 No SRAs are paid to vice-chairmen of committees.
4.6 The SRAs will be adjusted by an amount equivalent to any officers’ pay award for each subsequent year for the period up to the next review of the scheme.
4.7 Where a member is suspended or partially suspended from their duties as a member of Dorset Council in accordance with Part III of the Local Government Act 2000, or regulations made under that part, the part of the SRA payable to them in respect of the period for which they are suspended or partially suspended shall be withheld.
5.1 Travelling allowance is paid in line with the HMRC Mileage Allowance Payments (MAP). The current MAP approved amounts are:
- car – 45p per mile up to 10,000 and 25p per mile thereafter
- passenger payments – up to 5p per mile per passenger (up to a maximum of four) to be claimed only for passengers who would otherwise be eligible for travelling allowance
- motorcycle – 24p per mile
- bicycle – 20p per mile
- in relation to public transport (including rail and bus) - standard fare; and
- parking fees – actual cost
5.2 Travelling allowance can be claimed for the following approved duties:
a) attendance at meetings of the council, the Cabinet/Executive, and of those committees and sub-committees, panels, joint committees, consultative bodies and working groups of which the claimant is a member, or has a right to attend, under the council’s constitution;
b) attendance at meetings of the Cabinet/Executive, and of those committees and sub-committees, panels, joint committees, consultative bodies and working groups when expressly invited to attend and speak;
c) attendance at meetings of the Cabinet/Executive, where a member who is not a member of the Cabinet/Executive, has attended to speak or observe;
d) attendance for a meeting with an officer or a member in receipt of an SRA, for the purpose of discussing matters relating exclusively to council business, in which it is reasonable to expect the member to have an interest;
e) duties undertaken by members appointed to serve on partner and other organisations except where those bodies pay travelling and/or subsistence allowances and members should therefore claim those allowances direct from those bodies and not from the council;
f) attendance at parish meetings and town or parish council meetings in a member’s ward (when they are not a member of that town or parish council);
g) attendance at conferences, seminars and training events authorised by the Corporate Director – Legal and Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer after consultation with the relevant member of the Executive/Cabinet;
h) attendance at seminars and briefing meetings for members convened by the Chief Executive, a director or service head, e.g. on service planning, new legislation and on service and policy issues, and at meetings to discuss particular local issues;
i) exhibitions, official openings and visits to premises, or similar events, to which members have been invited or approved to attend by the Chief Executive, a director or a service head;
j) attendance at consultation meetings with the public or other organisations arranged by the Chief Executive, a director or a service head; and
k) attendance at the opening of tenders when specifically requested in accordance with Article 14 of the council’s constitution.
a) travelling allowances may not be claimed for political group meetings;
b) except in the case of meetings of a single party Cabinet/Executive, travelling allowances may not be claimed for meetings to which members of only one political group have been invited; and
c) if any member is in any doubt about a particular duty please check with the Democratic Services Team
5.3 Where a member is suspended or partially suspended from their duties as a Dorset Councillor in accordance with Part III of the Local Government Act 2000, or regulations made under that part, the part of travelling allowance payable to them in respect of the period for which they are suspended or partially suspended shall be withheld.
6.1 Subsistence allowances for meals and accommodation can be reimbursed to Dorset Council Councillors for duties undertaken outside the ceremonial Dorset county (which includes the unitary council area of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole). This allowance reflects the scheme in place for officers of Dorset Council.
6.2 Councillors of Dorset Council are entitled to claim subsistence if their duties mean that they are away from the ceremonial Dorset county for at least 5 hours, preventing them from following their normal meal arrangements AND they have to incur expenditure which is in addition to their normal outlay.
6.3 Any claims for subsistence costs must be for the actual amount paid (up to the maximum amount claimable) and supporting receipts of this cost must be kept by the councillor. The amounts claimable are cumulative across meal times. Therefore, one amount can be claimed depending on the length of time away. The reimbursement of costs associated with alcohol will not be paid under any circumstances.
6.4 The maximum amounts that be claimed are as follows:
Cumulative hours and maximum amount that can be claimed
| Cumulative hours|| Maximum amount claimable|
|At least 5 hours outside of the ceremonial county
|At least 10 hours outside of the ceremonial county
|At least 15 hours outside of the ceremonial county (and ongoing at 8pm)
|Overnight (room only)
||£87.64 including VAT (or £115.02 including VAT for Greater and Inner London)
6.5Where a member is suspended or partially suspended from their duties as a Dorset Councillor in accordance with Part III of the Local Government Act 2000, or regulations made under that part, the part of subsistence allowance payable to them in respect of the period for which they are suspended or partially suspended shall be withheld.
Dependent Carers’ Allowance
7. A dependent carers’ allowance paid to members of up to £9* per hour, i.e. actual expenditure incurred up to a maximum of £9 per hour, will be paid for care of dependants, whether children, elderly people or people with disabilities, while a member is on Dorset Council business where travelling allowances are payable. The allowance will not be payable to a member of the claimant’s own household. Members who claim a carers’ allowance are required to certify that the amounts claimed (up to the permitted maximum) have actually been incurred by signing the declaration on the reverse of the claim form. Receipts should also be provided.
Note: The hourly rate equivalent is to 110% of the minimum wage, rounded up to the nearest whole pound, i.e. actual expenditure incurred subject to a maximum of £9* per hour. *As at April 2019.
Co-opted and Independent Members’ allowance
8.1 Co-opted and independent members of committees and other persons appointed to sit on panels and for a constituted meeting by the council, are entitled to claim travelling and carer’s allowances in accordance with this scheme. They may also claim subsistence allowance for attendance at meetings.
8.2 A separate allowance of £350 per annum is payable to:
- the co-opted members of the scrutiny committee with oversight of education matters and the Dorset Police and Crime Panel;
- the independent persons appointed to contribute to the arrangements of promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct;
- the independent persons appointed to serve on School Admission Appeals Panels (in addition to travel and subsistence allowances)
Submission of Claims
9.1 Claims for allowances must be made electronically.
9.2 Claims must be made on a monthly basis.
9.3 When submitting claims electronically, VAT receipts for fuel, car park tickets/receipts and those for public transport and subsistence must be retained by the individual member and be made available for verification upon request. In the case of claims submitted on a claim form, these should be attached.
9.4 Hard copy claim forms will be made available for co-opted members.
10. Members of Dorset Council may, if they wish, forgo all or any part of their entitlement to any basic allowance or special responsibility allowance by giving notice in writing to the Corporate Director – Legal and Democratic and Monitoring Officer.
Taxation of Allowances and Social Security Benefits
11.1 Allowances will be subject to the normal PAYE and National Insurance regulations in force at the time.
11.2 In order to avoid over-payment of income tax or National Insurance contributions, claims for payment of allowances must be submitted monthly.
12. If you have any queries about this scheme please contact the Democratic Services Team.