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Birmingham City Council

Members Allowances

Since 1974 Councillors have been entitled to receive or to claim a range of allowances for undertaking their council duties - Members Allowances Since 1974. For Councillors, the position is that:-

  • Must be paid a Basic Allowance. The same rate is paid to all Councillors.

  • Can be paid a Special Responsibility Allowance where a role with significant additional responsibility to the standard role of a Councillor is undertaken. The rate will depend on the level of responsibility.

  • Can opt to join the Local Government Pension Scheme. Contributions are based on Basic and Special Responsibility Allowances.

  • Can claim Travel Allowances and Expenses where expenditure is necessarily and exclusively incurred when undertaking approved duties. Allowance rates are in line with those paid to officers of the authority. Actual costs of rail, taxi, bus fares and other direct costs can also be claimed.

  • Can claim reasonable Subsistence Expenses where expenditure is necessarily and exclusively incurred as the authorised representative of the Council at a meeting, conference or seminar that is held outside the Birmingham authority area. Claims have to be supported by receipts.

    No Subsistence Expenses can be claimed for duties undertaken within the Birmingham authority area.

  • Can claim Carers Allowance where expenditure is necessarily and exclusively incurred in arranging care of children or dependants when undertaking approved duties. The maximum rate depends on the nature of the care involved.

For Co-opted Members the position is that:-

  • Can be paid a Co-optee Allowance. The rate can vary depending on type of Committee and nature of the role undertaken.

  • Can claim Travel Allowances and Expenses and Subsistence Expenses under the same arrangements that apply to Councillors.

Since 1995, Councils have had the discretion to set the level of Basic and Special Responsibility Allowances. An Independent Panel for the West Midlands metropolitan area produced a report a Members Allowances: A West Midlands Approach in November 1995. This was the basis for Allowance Schemes until December 2001.

In 2001 Councils were required to set up a permanent Independent Remuneration Panel. The Council must have regard to the recommendations of its Panel before adopting or amending its Members Allowances Scheme for the payment of Basic, Special Responsibility or Childcare & Dependant CarersAllowances.

In 2003, new Regulations were issued, that extended the role of the Panel to include making recommendations on pensions for councillors, travelling, subsistence and co-optee allowances. These required a new Scheme to be adopted on or prior to 31 December 2003. Birmingham Independent Remuneration Panel Reports.

Information on Members Allowances is available in a number of forms:-

  • Register of Allowances paid to each Councillor during the current financial year. This can be inspected during office hours at the Council House Reception, Victoria Square by any local government elector of the City.

  • The total amount of the different Allowances paid to each Councillor or Co-opted Member during the previous year. This is usually published in May and can be inspected during office hours at the Council House Reception, Victoria Square by any member of the public - Public Notice - Annual Payments Schedule.

  • Reports of the Independent Remuneration Panel.

  • The Current Members Allowances Scheme.

  • Local government electors for the City can also view individual claims form and other payment records during the Annual Inspection of the Council Accounts. This is advertised in the local press and usually takes place in September. The first point of contact is Council House Reception, Victoria Square.

Further enquiries or any questions to Democratic.Services@birmingham.gov.uk