Members’ allowances scheme 2022 to 2023

The Members’ allowances scheme operating from 1 April 2022 provides for the following:

  1. Payment of a Basic Allowance of £5783 to every Councillor for the year.

The Basic Allowance is provided to recognise and compensate the time commitment of Councillors including such inevitable calls on their time as attending Council and other formal meetings, training and or briefings, civic events, undertaking general constituency work and to cover incidental costs such as the use of their homes, stationery, telephone usage, purchase of information technology (IT) equipment, room and or hall rental for community meetings, travel within their ward and the provision of general consumables.

  1. Payment of Special Responsibility Allowances to: -

Leaders of Political Groups £147 basic allowance, plus £58 for each Member of the Group

Executive Members

  • Leader of the Council £14151
  • Deputy Leader of the Council £11557
  • Other Portfolio Holders £9434

Chairmen of Committees and or Panels

  • Planning £5442
  • Overview and Scrutiny £3162
  • Vice-Chair of Overview and Scrutiny £957
  • Audit £3162
  • Budget Scrutiny Review Panel £441
  • Licensing and Regulatory £441
  • Licensing and Regulatory Sub £308 per Chairman

Planning Committee Members £804

  • Mayoral Allowance £5700 (to be paid on a Municipal Year basis)

Payment will be made in monthly instalments and apportioned during the year, where appropriate.  Members wishing to elect not to receive any Special Responsibility and or Basic Allowance to which they are entitled, should write to the payroll officer in the Human Resources team as soon as possible.

  1. Travelling expenses will be paid for attendance at approved meetings.

The list of approved duties is set out in Schedule 1 of the scheme.

Members claiming travelling expenses are expected to utilise the most cost effective solution, with allowance for practicality and personal circumstances. This may take the form of a personal vehicle, public transport, or a taxi or similar service where most appropriate. When traveling by train there can be flexibility on train ticket options. Although standard fare is the normal ticket to be reimbursed, a first class fare may also be reimbursed where it is shown to be the cheapest ticket available. Wherever applicable and practical, receipts for the method of travel used should be retained and submitted with the claim for expenses.

  1. Where the requirements of paragraph 3 are met a travelling allowance for use of a private car will be paid at the following rates:
  1. Car - 45 pence per mile
  2. Motorcycle - 24 pence per mile

The above rates are subject to the equivalent standard rail fare for the journey being payable where this is lower. An enhanced travel allowance for shared vehicle use of 10 pence per mile for the first passenger and 6 pence per mile for the second and subsequent passengers is also payable.

In relation to travel between a Member’s home and the Town Hall, Reigate or other place for approved duties within the Borough, the travel allowance can only be claimed and paid for mileage from and to the Borough boundary. This restriction should not apply to travel on official duties outside of the Borough.

The current bicycle allowance is 20p per mile.

5. Subsistence is generally only payable when a Member is not able to take a meal at his and or her usual place of residence and has not been provided with refreshments at the Council’s expense. Prior approval by the Chief Executive is required. The rates of Subsistence Allowance are currently as follows:

(i) in the case of an absence, not involving an absence overnight from the usual place of residence: -

(a) Breakfast - up to £6.36

(b) Lunch - up to £8.78

(c) Tea - up to £3.47

(d) Evening Meal - up to £10.87

(ii) in the case of an absence overnight from the usual place of residence: -

  • Standard Rate - up to £93.43
  • Absence in London or at an approved Conference - up to £106.61

The rate specified in (ii) above is deemed to cover a continuous period of absence of 24 hours.  It should be reduced by an appropriate amount in respect of any meal provided free of charge by an Authority or Body during the period to which the allowance relates.

Subsistence cannot be claimed where expenses are already paid, for example as part of a course and or conference fee. Prior approval to claim should be sought from the Head of Paid Service.

6. Dependants’ Carers’ Allowance

An allowance can be claimed to reimburse childcare and or dependant carers’ expenses in respect of the approved duties set out in schedule 1 to this scheme.

The carer must be over 16 years of age.

A maximum of £3,000 can be paid to an individual Member in any one Municipal Year.

The scheme covers Members with responsibility for:

  1. one or more children under 16 years of age; and
  1. a relative or household member who, by virtue of physical and or mental incapacity, requires constant care and attendance.

Provided that they normally reside with the claimant and the paid carer is not a member of the claimant’s immediate family or household.

The allowance payable under (i) above shall be £12 per hour, with no figure for the number of hours, subject to the general reasonableness of the claim.

The allowance payable under (ii) above shall be the prevailing Surrey County Council Adult Domiciliary Care Rate and Higher Needs at an hourly rate agreed by the Head of Paid Service.

As a guide for reasonableness, this allowance may be claimed for the duration of the meeting, together with up to one hour travelling time to and from the meeting, plus a short period for instruction and or hand over with the carer.

7. Leave for Maternity, Paternity and Adoption

During leave for Maternity, Paternity and Adoption reasons, all allowances in payment at the time should (will) continue to be paid during the statutory period of leave or until the claimant ceases to in the role that carries the allowance.

8. Incidental expenses

Incidental validated expenses such as reimbursement for postage due on incoming post (due to underpayment by sender), letters or similar eligible payments, be reclaimable through the Members Allowances Scheme to ease the administration of the process.


All payments will be made on a monthly basis through the payroll by direct transfer to your bank account.  Basic and Special Responsibility Allowances will attract income tax and National Insurance deductions where appropriate.  Travelling Allowances being reimbursements are not subject to National Insurance deductions. Any mileage expenses, above the HMRC’s Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAP) are taxable. The AMAP for a car is 45p and 24p for a motorcycle. Payments above £702 a month will be subject to National Insurance contributions. You do not pay National Insurance after you reach State Pension Age. The Council, as employing authority, will still be subject to the Employer’s contribution of National Insurance. The payroll officer of the Human Resources team will need to have sight of either a passport or birth certificate in order to update the National Insurance category.

Where a Member is currently paying the maximum National Insurance contribution relating to their normal employment, they are advised to apply for deferment from the local Department for Work and Pensions.  In these circumstances, the Department will almost certainly advise the Council not to deduct National Insurance contributions from that Member’s gross pay.

Members’ claims for travel and subsistence where payable should be sent to Democratic Services, by the 6th of each month and within 30 days of the expense being incurred.

Details of payments made by bank transfer will be despatched to Members on the 21 of each month. Blank forms relating to Travelling and Subsistence Allowance claims are available from the web library, or from the Democratic Services team

Queries as to whether an allowance is payable should be directed to Democratic Services. Queries relating to payments received should be directed to the payroll officer in the Human Resources team.


Schedule 1

Approved duties

The following meetings are specified as an approved duty for the purpose of determining eligibility for travel and subsistence allowances:

  1. Council, Executive and Council Committees, Sub-Committees, Task Groups, Policy Development Groups, Overview and Scrutiny Panels, Informal Local Committee meetings, Meetings attended in the Assistant Portfolio Holder role; Working Groups, Area Planning Panels, Local Joint Forum, Chairman’s Previews, Agenda Planning Meetings, Portfolio Panels and or Committees and Housing Appeals Panel which Members attend
  2. Local Authority Associations of which the Council is a Member
  3. formal Site Visits and other meetings authorised in advance by a Committee or Sub-Committee
  4. seminars, workshops and or away days or similarly labelled events held by the Council for Members
  5. outside organisations (including associated attendances) to which the Member has been appointed by the Executive or a Committee or Sub-Committee of the Council
  6. the opening of tenders in accordance with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules
  7. meetings in relation to the discharge of Executive functions by Executive Members, including:
  • the Executive
  • Leader’s meetings
  • meetings with the Chief Executive or Heads of Service; and
  • meetings with other local authorities, outside organisations and individuals
  1. meetings with Portfolio Holders and or Officers
  2. portfolio briefings
  3. Member champion activities (including meetings attended on behalf of the Council (excluding those attended for personal interest)
  4. Mayoral and Deputy Mayoral engagements
  5. ad hoc attendances approved by the Chief Executive

For the purposes of the Dependants’ Carer’s Allowance only,

  1. Ward work – i.e. meeting with residents and other work in the community which precludes the practical provision of care to those persons identified under the Dependants’ Carer’s Allowance