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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk



Members' Allowances Scheme

The Members Allowances Scheme is currently under review and will be updated as soon as possible.

The Members Allowances Scheme covers arrangements for the payment of:-

  • Basic Allowance

  • Special Responsibility Allowance

  • Pensions for Councillors

  • Co-optee Allowance

  • Travel Allowances and Expenses

  • Subsistence Allowances and Expenses

  • Carers' Allowance

Basic Allowance

The Basic Allowance is payable equally to all Councillors and is designed to cover the following range of activities:

  • Representative role including acting as an advocate for the interests of the ward, dealing with constituent’s enquiries or representations, active participation in the shaping and management of services devolved to a local level and attendance at meetings of local organisations.
  • City Council and Committee work including preparation for and attendance at meetings, interview panels, appeals, visits, seminars and conferences, service on or chairing ward committees and participation on other bodies relating to the work of the City Council.
  • Service as the representative of the City Council or its Committees on outside bodies for which no separate remuneration is made.

The Basic Allowance comprises two elements:-
  • A time element based on 3 days per week less a Public Service Discount of 25% resulting in a net value of 2¼ days per week for which the allowance is paid. The work that Councillors do beyond 2¼ days per week is therefore unpaid public service.

  • An additional expenses element designed to offset in part the cost of telephone rental/calls and home office expenses such as postage, stationery and other consumables.

Special Responsibility Allowance

Special Responsibility Allowance is paid to those Members of the Council who have significant additional responsibilities over and above the generally accepted duties of a councillor.

It is paid to the Leader of the Council, Deputy Leader of the Council, Cabinet Members, Chair of the Co-ordinating Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Chairs of Overview & Scrutiny Committees, Chair Overview & Scrutiny Sub Committee, Chair of Personnel Appeals Committee, Chair of Planning Committee, Chair of Public Protection Committee, Chair of Licencing Committee, Chair of Constituency Committee, Leaders and Deputy Leaders of Qualifying Opposition Groups and Deputy Leader of the Minority Group in a coalition administration, Chair of the Audit Committee, Lead Opposition Spokespersons, Leader and Deputy Leader of other Qualifying Opposition Group, Political Group Secretaries.

No Member can receive more than one Special Responsibility Allowance.

Two components are taken into account in arriving at a value for individual Special Responsibility Allowances:-

  • The comparative level of responsibility of the role in relation to that of the Leader of the Council.
  • The comparative time commitment of the role in relation to that of the Leader of the Council.

Pensions for Councillors

All Councillors can opt to join the Local Government Pension Scheme. Basic and Special Responsibility Allowances are treated as pensionable remuneration on which Councillors make their contributions to the Scheme.

Pension is usually payable from 70 and benefits are based on career average pay and the number of years as a member of the Pension Scheme.

Co-optee Allowance

This is an annual allowance that replaced the entitlement for Co-opted Members to claim Financial Loss Allowance.

It is designed to reflect the core time needed to serve on a committee and recognises that additional work beyond this will be voluntary public service.

Travel Allowances and Expenses

Councillors and Co-opted Members can claim for reasonable travel expenses that have been necessarily and exclusively incurred in undertaking a range of approved duties.

Car Mileage, Motorcycle and Bicycle Allowances can be claimed at the same rates as those paid to officers of the authority. Travel expenses can also be claimed subject to the production of receipts [where practicable].

As an alternative the Council may provide transport services [rail, taxi, chauffeur, travel passes] direct for the same range of approved duties. Those provided with travel passes make a contribution to the cost and have reduced access to direct transport provided by the Council.

Subsistence Expenses

Councillors and Co-opted Members can claim for reasonable day or overnight expenses that have been necessarily and exclusively incurred in attending as an authorised representative of the Council at a meeting, conference or seminar that is held outside the Birmingham authority area. Receipts are required to support a claim.

No subsistence expenses can be claimed for any duty that is undertaken within the Birmingham authority area.

Carers' Allowance

Councillors can claim for reasonable carer costs that have been necessarily and exclusively incurred in undertaking a range of approved duties.

The allowance that can be claimed depends on the nature of the care involved:

  • For the independent care, the maximum hourly rate that can be claimed will be the minimum wage.

  • For the professional qualified carer the maximum hourly rate that can be claimed will be the Council’s own hourly rate for a Care Assistant.

What are the Rates for Members Allowances?

For details of the current rates see attachment Current Members Allowances Scheme.

The total amount of different Allowances paid to each Councillor or Co-opted Member during the previous year 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 [see attachment below for Annual Payments Schedule]