Councillor allowances

Last Updated: 3 April 2024

Councillors are not paid a salary for their work, but they do receive a basic annual allowance to cover the time that they put in to their role. They can also claim for certain expenses which arise from their approved duties as a councillor, such as meals and travel expenses. Councillors may choose not to receive an allowance as a district councillor.

The level of allowances each year is recommended by the Independent Remuneration Panel, which is currently made up of five members of the public. The panel members are appointed for a four year term, with a limit of two consecutive terms. They also meet as the South Lakeland Parish Remuneration Panel (PRP) to make recommendations for parish councillor allowances.

The panel’s recommendations for the years 2021-22 to 2024-25, which were approved by Council on 15 December 2020:

The panel recommended a basic allowance of £4,201.14 per annum for district councillors in South Lakeland in 2021-22 to 2024-25. This change will take effect on 1 April 2021.

District councillor special responsibilities

Extra allowances are paid to councillors with special responsibilities such as the Chairman of the Council or Portfolio Holders. Councillors can only claim one Special Responsibility Allowance. Group leaders can also claim an additional Group Leaders’ Allowance.

District councillor special responsibility allowances per annum
Special Responsibility Allowances £ per annum
Leader of the Council (with Portfolio) 12,120.00
Deputy Leader (with Portfolio) 7,171.00
Other Members of the Cabinet 6,060.00
Leader of the Opposition 1,863.00
Chairman of the Council 1,863.00
Chairman of Planning Committee 2,794.50
Chairman of the Audit, HR, Lake Administration and Overview and Scrutiny Committees 1,863.00
Chairman of the Licensing/Licensing Regulatory and Standards Committees 931.50
Group Leader: (2 to 5 councillors in the group at the preceding Annual Council meeting) 372.00
Group Leader: (6 to 10 councillors at the preceding Annual Council meeting) 496.00
Group Leader: (11 to 15 councillors at the preceding Annual Council meeting) 621.00
Group Leader: (16 to 20 councillors at the preceding Annual Council meeting) 742.00
Group Leader: (21 to 26 councillors at the preceding Annual Council meeting) 871.00
Group Leader: (27+ councillors at the preceding Annual General Council meeting) 1,245.00
Members of the Shadow Cabinet (with the exception of the Leader of the Opposition) 505.00
Members of the Planning Committee 250.00

Available expenses

Subsistence expenses
Period of absence Available expenses
4 to 8 hours £9.91
Over 8 but less than 12 hours £14.17
Over 12 but less than 24 hours £26.70
Overnight stay Reasonable actual expense
Bed and breakfast Reasonable actual expense
Travel expenses
Mode of transport Available expenses
Public transport Least amount of either the ordinary fare, standard class or cheapest fare for the journey.
Car mileage The mileage rate set by HMRC without attracting a tax charge (currently 45p per mile) applies to the first 150 miles of a return journey regardless of the destination and 25 per mile thereafter.
Taxi If unavoidable, full reimbursement of cost.
Bicycle and Motorcycle Maximum rate set by HMRC without attracting a tax charge (current £0.20 and £0.24 per mile respectively)
Incidental expenses eg car park charges Reimbursed on production of receipt

Public notice of the Members' Allowances Scheme for 2021-2022 to 2024-2025 (PDF 141KB / 4 page)

Past district councillor allowances

View the allowances we have paid to councillors in the previous years:

Councillor Allowances 2019 to 2020 (PDF 147KB / 3 page)

Councillor Allowances 2018 to 2019 (PDF 157KB / 3 page)

Parish councillor allowances

The Parish Remuneration Panel send their recommendations on parish councillor allowances to parish and town councils, which the councils may choose to follow.

Report to Parish and Town Councils from the Parish Remuneration Panel 2020 to 2021 (PDF 205KB / 7 pages)