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Allowances, expenses and interests

14 April 2016

Elected councillors are paid an allowance to enable them to undertake their duties and, in addition, are legally entitled to claim certain expenses. Essex County Council publishes details of the allowances and expenses incurred by councillors on a monthly basis.
 

Allowances

All county councillors receive a basic allowance of £12,000 to enable them to undertake their duties. These duties include:
 
  • Being accessible and available to all residents in their electoral division
  • Preparing for and attending all formal and informal meetings they are invited to
  • Representing the interests of the whole council area.
 
Some councillors who have special responsibilities, such as cabinet members, are also entitled to receive a special responsibility allowance.
 
The Constitution contains more information about councillors’ allowances.
 

Independent Remuneration Panel

Under the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003, every relevant local authority is required to review its Members’ Allowances Scheme by establishing an Independent Remuneration Panel, whose function is to give advice and make recommendations on its scheme of allowances and the amounts to be paid to Members.
 
In June 2015 Essex County Council convened an Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP). The report of the IRP is available here and was considered by the Council on 13 October 2015.
 
 

Expenses

Councillors are allowed to claim for travel expenses they incur while on council business. Councillors are encouraged to use public transport and car sharing where appropriate. Taxi fares are only reimbursed if it's not practical for the councillor to use his/her own car or to use public transport.
 
Councillors' expenses must be claimed in accordance with the provisions set out in the Members Allowance Scheme and by the following process:
 
  • all claims are submitted to the Council and Member Support Officer for review and checking against the allowance scheme, ensuring that claims are for approved duties and receipts are provided for all expenses, including fuel VAT receipts where mileage is claimed
  • any resulting queries are referred back to the individual member for further information
  • providing claims are submitted in accordance with the allowance scheme, those submitted by cabinet members and the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the council are passed to the Monitoring Officer for secondary approval.
  • the claims may then be subject to further scrutiny by the Compliance Team and only once satisfied will payment be made.
  • All payments so made to Councillors are published on our website.
 

Interests

Councillors must declare any business, financial or other interests they have that could conflict with their duties as a county councillor.

 

The Committee Management Information System contains details of all councillors’ interests.

 

Governance report November 2012