Section 17 Members’ Allowances Scheme

Last updated 11 May 2020

 

1 Introduction

The Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 No 1021 require local authorities to establish an Independent Remuneration Panel to review and provide advice on Members’ allowances.

On 22 May 2019 Council decided it would establish its own Independent Remuneration Panel for 2019/20. A Panel was appointed in August 2019 and undertook its work during October 2019.

The scheme allows for payments to Members attending meetings and other approved duties of the Council and in the light of independent advice to make payments to office-holders of the Council as may be specified in recognition of duties carried out on the Council’s behalf.

This scheme shall have effect from 7 May 2019.

1.1 Key Features of the New Scheme

  • Councillors will be paid a monthly basic allowance in accordance with the figures stated in Appendix 1.
  • The existing arrangements for travel, car parking and subsistence will continue in respect of meetings of all bodies listed in Appendix 2.  The mileage allowance is 40p per mile.

‘Councillor’ means an elected Member of Wyre Forest District Council.

  • The basic and special responsibility allowances* should be increased by an index for the years commencing 1 April 2020, 1 April 2021, 1 April 2022 and 1 April 2023.  The index to be used shall be linked to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) as published by the Office for National Statistics for March, or the percentage pay rise awarded to Wyre Forest District Council employees, whichever is lower.

*With the exception of the allowances for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council which are agreed at the Council’s budget setting meeting in February.

1.2 Basic Allowance

Each year a basic allowance as detailed in Appendix 1 shall be paid to each councillor in 12 equal instalments paid on the 23 day of each month or thereabouts.

1.3 Special Responsibility Allowance

A Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) will be payable to the Leader, Deputy Leader, Cabinet Members, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Chair of Planning Committee, Chair of Licensing and Environmental Committee, Chair of Audit Committee, Chair of Ethics and Standards Committee, Political Group Leaders, Vice Chairs of Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Planning Committee. Scales of payment are as set out in Appendix 1. Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council already receive an Special Responsibility Allowance outside this scheme.

The Council will deduct any tax and National Insurance contributions which are due and will account for these to the Inland Revenue.

Only one Special Responsibility Allowance is payable to any member.

1.4 Travel, Car Parking and Subsistence Costs

Travel, car parking and subsistence costs will be paid only for approved duties where a Member has been appointed by the Council to attend in a representative role on behalf of the Council.

1.5 Approved Duties for Payment of Travel, Car Parking and Subsistence Costs

There is specified as an approved duty for the purpose of the payment of travelling, car parking and subsistence allowance attendance at:

  • Any meeting on the calendar of meetings approved by the Council at it’s Annual Meeting;
  • Any special discharge of the Council’s functions;
  • Any other meeting, attendance at which is declared by the Council or Committee as an ‘approved duty’.
  • No subsistence will be paid for Approved Duties carried out within the Wyre Forest District boundary.
  • No payment will be made to a Member who attends as an Observer.

For ease of reference a list of ‘approved duties’ is contained in Appendix 2.

1.6 Part-Year Entitlements

The provisions of this paragraph shall have effect to regulate the entitlements of a Councillor to basic and Special Responsibility Allowances where, in the course of the year, this scheme is amended or that Councillor becomes, or ceases to be, a Councillor, or accepts or relinquishes a Special Responsibility in respect of which an allowance is payable.

If an amendment to this scheme changes the amount to which a Councillor is entitled by way of a basic allowance or a Special Responsibility Allowance then, in relation to each of the periods:

The entitlement to such an allowance shall be to the payment of such part of the amount of the allowance under this scheme as it has effect during the relevant period as bears to the whole the same proportion as the number of days in the period bears to the number of days in the year.

Where the term of office of a Councillor begins or ends otherwise than at the beginning or end of a year, the entitlement of that Councillor to a basic allowance shall be to the payment of such part of the basic allowance as bears to the whole the same proportion as the number of days during which his/her term of office subsists bears to the number of days in that year.

Where this scheme is amended as mentioned, and the term of office of a Councillor does not subsist throughout the period, the entitlement of any such Councillor to a basic allowance shall be to the payment of such part of the basic allowance referable to each such period (ascertained in accordance with that sub-paragraph) as bears to the whole the same proportion as the number of days during which his/her term of office bears to the number of days in that period.

Where a Councillor has during part of, but not throughout, a year such special responsibilities as entitle him or her to a Special Responsibility Allowance, that Councillor’s entitlement shall be to the payment of such part of that allowance as bears to the whole the same proportion as the number of days during which he/she has such special responsibilities bears to the number of days in that year.

Where the scheme is amended, and a Councillor has during part, but does not have throughout the whole, of any period any such special responsibility as entitle him or her to a Special Responsibility Allowance, that Councillor’s entitlement shall be to payment of such part of the allowance referable to each such period as bears to the whole the same proportion as the number of days in that period during which he or she has such special responsibilities bears to the number of days in that period.

1.7 Claims and Payments

A claim for travelling, car parking and subsistence allowance shall be made on-line through the HR21 system within two months of the date of the meeting in respect of which the entitlement to the allowance arises.

Payments shall be made in respect of Basic and Special Responsibility Allowance in instalments of one-twelfth of the amount specified in the scheme on the normal salary pay day each month.

1.8 Renunciation

A Councillor may, by notice in writing to the Chief Financial Officer, elect to forego any part of his/her entitlement to an allowance under the scheme.

 1.9 Dependent Carer’s Allowance

An allowance paid at £4 per hour for a maximum of 8 hours per week or two meetings, whichever is the less. The dependent child will be under 14 and living at home with the Member. In claiming the allowance Members must declare that the minder is not an immediate relative and is over 16 years of age.

The Dependent Carer’s Allowance also includes an elderly relative or disabled person who resides with a Councillor and cannot be left alone.

2 Amendments and Revisions to Scheme

The Council reserves the right to amend or revise this Scheme to comply with any future legislation or changes to Council policy.

2.1 Commencement of Allowances

Members are paid from midnight on the Monday/Tuesday following the election.

2.2 Suspension

  1. Councillors who are suspended from office as a result of a finding of the breach of the Code of Conduct shall not be entitled to a basic allowance and if applicable, any special responsibility allowance for the period of suspension from office.
  2. Councillors who are partially suspended as a result of a breach of the Code of Conduct shall not be entitled to any special responsibility allowance applicable to the activities from which the member has been suspended.
  3. If a Councillor has been overpaid a basic allowance or a special responsibility allowance as a result of paragraph one or two, the same shall be repayable upon the written request of the Chief Executive or may be at his discretion be withheld from subsequent payments due to the Member.

Appendix 1

 

Members' Allowances Scheme 2020/2021

As of 1 April 2020

Basic Allowance

 

£ per annum

All Councillors

  4,684

Special Responsibility Allowance

Band

£ per annum

Band 1

Leader

 

 

14,051

Band 2

Deputy Leader

 

 

8,196

Band 3

Cabinet Members

Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

 

7,026

7,026

 

Band 4

Chair of Planning Committee

 

4,684

 

Band 5

Chair of Licensing & Environmental Committee

Chairman of Audit Committee

 

3,512

3,512

Band 6

Political Group Leaders (subject to a minimum of four members)

Vice Chair Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Vice Chair Planning Committee

Chair of Ethics and Standards Committee

 

 

1,170

 

1,170

1,170

1,170

 

Note:  Members may not claim allowances from more than one body in respect of any duty.

The Chairman’s payment for 2020/2021 is £6,481 and the Vice Chairman’s payment is £1,872 in accordance with Council’s decision at its Budget meeting on 26 February 2020.  

Appendix 2

Approved Duties for Payment of Travel, Car Parking and Subsistence

Council, Committee and Sub-Committee Meetings

  • Appointments and Appeals
  • Audit Committee
  • Cabinet
  • Council
  • Ethics and Standards Committee
  • Licensing and Environmental Committee
  • Overview and Scrutiny Committee
  • Planning Committee
  • Worcestershire Regulatory Services Board
  • Prescribed Bodies (Informed by Department of Environment Circular)
  • (To apply to those members appointed by the Council)
  • Court of the University of Birmingham (S.I. 1974 No.482)
  • Housing Review Boards (S.I. 1983 No. 1 1 1).

Approved Duties Specified by the Council

  1. Working Parties and Miscellaneous Committees - To apply to those Members appointed to serve on the following:
    • Site visits - Ward Members Consultation (Authorised by Council, Committee or Sub-Committee)
    • Wyre Forest Business Development Advisory Committee
    • Wyre Forest Parish Forum
    • Induction Meeting
  2. Outside Bodies - To apply to those members appointed to serve on the following:
    • Age Uk
    • Bewdley Development Trust
    • Bewdley Museum Management Committee Registered Charity 527511
    • Carpet Museum Trust Registered Charity 1163401
    • Care Withell and Blount Charity
    • District Councils’ Network
    • Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Joint Scrutiny Committee
    • Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Supervisory Board (Joint Committee)
    • Kidderminster and District Youth Trust
    • Local Government Association General Assembly
    • National Parking Adjudication Joint Committee
    • Stourport Forward Board
    • The Elizabeth Mills Centre (formerly Stourport Day Centre)
    • 10:32 Wyre Forest Early Help (formerly Tree Tops Sure Start Children’s Centre)
    • West Mercia Police and Crime Panel
    • West Midlands LGA
    • Worcestershire County Council Corporate Parenting Board
    • Worcestershire County Council Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee
    • Worcestershire County Council Overview and Scrutiny Performance Board – co-opted member for scrutiny of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership
    • Worcestershire County Waste Forum
    • Worcestershire Health Improvement Group
    • Worcestershire Leaders Board
    • Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership
    • Worcestershire Regulatory Services Board
    • Wyre Forest Citizen’s Advise Bureau – Management Committee
    • Wyre Forest Community Leisure Association Ltd - Local Partnership Board
    • Wyre Forest Local Children and Young People’s Trus
    • Wyre Forest Nightstop and Mediation Service Management Committee
  3. Public Meetings organised by the Council (To apply to those members officially appointed by the Council to represent it at such meetings).
  4. Members carrying out the business of the Council.
  5. Members officially appointed by this Council to represent the views of this Council or to attend meetings of another body either specifically authorised by the Council or the Chief Executive.