Local authorities can pay their Members an allowance and expenses in respect of the duties they undertake in their role as Councillor. This is determined by the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) England Regulations 2003.
When setting or reviewing the allowances the council is required to commission a report from a panel consisting of people who are not councillors and who are independent of the council. The panel is called an Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) and comprises up to 5 members who are listed in the report submitted to Council.
The IRP produces a report containing recommendations as to the level and nature of the allowances and expenses. Once in every four years the IRP will undertake a full review of the scheme which will consider all aspects of provision.
In the intervening years the IRP will only meet if there are significant issues for them to review. Otherwise the recommendation to Council should be that all allowances should be increased according to the index set out in the scheme.
The timing of any review should facilitate the budget process so that the setting of allowances can be determined in December by full Council with the new allowances being effective from the start of the new financial year.
**Following the recently agreed (October 2023) pay award for Local Government Employees and in consultation with Cheltenham Borough Council’s Independent Remuneration Panel, Members Allowances (including Special Responsibility Allowances) for 2023/24 have been increased by 6.1 %. This increase is based on a calculation of the average pay award for staff weighted by full-time equivalent.
The Independent Remuneration Panel are due to undertake its full review of Members Allowances in 2023 as required under the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003. The recommendations of this review will be considered by Full Council for implementation in 2024** .
The current members allowances payable under the scheme and the members receiving special responsibility allowances can be found here.
You can also view summaries of the allowances and expenses received by Members at Cheltenham Borough Council for each year;
More details of the members allowance scheme can be found in Part 6 of the Council's Constitution
The Mayor and Deputy Mayor take office in May each year. The Mayor receives a Mayoral Allowance which reflects their role as Civic Head and similarly the Deputy Mayor receives an allowance as their deputy. This includes a contribution towards the expenses they incur as Civic Head when attending events which covers clothing, donations, raffle tickets and tickets for events. This is typically up to £500 for the Mayor and £100 for the Deputy Mayor and the individuals holding that office can submit a claim to the Mayor’s office. A breakdown of these expenses for each civic year can be found here.