Soham Town Cllr Allowances, expenses and interests
By notice of the Clerk
Soham Town Council
9th May 2017
Under the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 Part 5, Cllrs may receive annually an allowance for undertaking the role and Duties of a Parish (or Town) Cllr. Recommendations for a Members’ Allowances Scheme is undertaken by a relevant Local Authority (in this case by East Cambridgeshire District Council) by establishing an Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP), whose function is to give advice and make recommendations on its Scheme of Allowances and the amounts to be paid to Cllrs within its District.
In November 2007 East Cambridgeshire District Council convened an IRP which and as part of its function considered allowances to be paid to town and parish Cllrs. The report and recommendations made concerning Parish and Town Councils is available here and these matters were (re)considered by Soham Town Council on 8th May 2017 of which a draft version can be seen here
By majority Soham Town Council approved at this meeting that all elected town Cllrs may, at their discretion, claim annually an allowance of up to £400 (in the case of the member elected as Chairperson £500).
It is hoped that by offering an allowance and being able to value this work more residents will be able to consider becoming town Cllrs at Soham.
Soham Town Cllrs may claim the basic allowance of £400 per annum in the financial year to enable them to undertake their duties. These duties include:
- Being accessible and available to assist with resident issues in Soham
- Representing the interests of Soham residents by being able to make visits, spend time with residents and where necessary act in advocacy and support of them.
The allowance IS NOT PROVIDED OR MAY BE CLAIMED solely for attending monthly council and committee meetings as it is anticipated that Soham town Cllrs undertake these activities as part of their agreement (Declaration of Acceptance) to become an elected representative in their community.
COST TO THE RATEPAYER
In 2017-18 a Soham resident living in a Band D house contributes £79.64 of their domestic rates charge to Soham Town Council (slightly more for a higher Banded house, slightly less for a lower Banded house).
From this amount each your elected town Cllrs will be entitled to claim 11.37p.
It should be noted that under Regulation 32 of the Act elected members may forgo entitlement and not claim their allowance.
Any allowance paid to a town Cllr will be published on the town council website and declared as part of its annual financial statement.
Soham Town Cllrs were previously able to claim for travel expenses whilst on council business which took them outside the town (parish boundary). At the meeting in May 2017 it was approved by majority that reasonable expenses should be provided to town Cllrs who wish to claim for expenses that occur as consequence of their work in the community.
Town Councillors’ expenses must be claimed in accordance with the provisions set out in IRP (HRMC mileage rate to be set at current financial year values) and by the following process:
- all claims are submitted to the Town Council for the Clerk to review and check 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 are passed to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the town council for secondary approval.
- the claims may then be subject to further scrutiny by the full council and only once satisfied will payment be made.
- All payments so made to Town Cllrs will be published on our website.
Interests (disclosable pecuniary interests [DPI’s])
Town Cllrs will continue to declare any business, financial or other interests to agenda items at meetings which could be considered to reasonably place them in conflict with their ability to act impartially and fairly in those decisions made by the town council.