The Constitution sets out how the council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures we follow to make sure we’re efficient, transparent and accountable to local people. Section 25 of the constitution relates to elected members’ remuneration and clearly defines the criteria for claiming expenses. The rules are strict and guidance notes are issued to all elected members.
We produce, publish and maintain an annual Members’ Schedule of Remuneration, in line with the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales requirement that applies to all Welsh local authorities.
We also publish information on Members' allowances.
This Authority will continue to utilise the services of a Business Travel club.
The Travel Club will arrange all travel and accommodation needs for elected members. This will provide a consistent approach across the Authority and will ensure that the VAT on all accounts relating to accommodation may be reclaimed.
All travel / accommodation arrangements will be made by Member’s Services, and only in exceptional circumstances will members be required to submit individual claims for reimbursement.
(a) What you can claim for
(i) Travelling to Council meetings including Executive Board, committees, sub-committees, panels and working parties.
(ii) Travelling to approved duties
(iii) Travelling to meetings, etc. (including meetings with Officers) which relate to those special responsibilities for which you receive a special responsibility remuneration.
(iv) Travelling to conferences which have been approved in accordance with the Chief Officer Governance & Customer delegations 23 and 24 contained in Section 13 of the Council’s Constitution (Responsibility for Functions) in consultation with the Leader and Deputy Leader. In instances where either the Leader or the Deputy Leader is a prospective conference attendee the Lead Member for Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance will be consulted.
In respect of (ii) and (iii) above, decisions on travel, overnight stays and other expenses (see overleaf) should be made in accordance with the protocol in Appendix 3.
(b) What you can claim (travel)
Travelling expenses are a reimbursement of costs actually incurred. If your travel has not cost you anything because, for example, you travelled in someone else’s vehicle or were provided with free transport, then you can not claim. You are certifying that you have incurred the expenses claimed.
You can claim:
i. Bus fare.
ii. Train fare - standard class and seat reservation costs if applicable. (First class may only be used/claimed if approved in advance by the Head of Corporate & Customer Services or if approved by an external body which you are representing and which will reimburse the Council in full).
iii. Car mileage. (Note: Members are expected to travel with officers or other Members whenever possible). Car mileage outside the County Borough area will only be paid where it is clear that public transport was not a viable alternative or where travel by car would obviate the need for an overnight stay. Members may choose to use other than public transport but train fare will be paid whatever the method of transport used.
iv. Taxi fare but only in cases of urgency or where no public transport is reasonably available.
v. Air fares but only if approved in advance by the Chief Officer Governance & Customer on the grounds of substantial time saving or urgency. (Note: this does not apply to foreign travel - see separate section).
(a) What you can claim for
Day Subsistence - Outside the County Borough area (see Appendix 2 for rate)
Overnight Subsistence - the maximum rate (see Appendix 2) allows for the reimbursement of accommodation costs, meals and other expenses in a 24 hour period.
Overnight stays should only be claimed where it would be unreasonable to travel and return on the same day or in fewer days than are claimed. The Chief Officer Finance & ICT may reject claims which he considers excessive. Appropriate Officers or Officers accompanying Members will normally book and arrange invoices for hotels and trains.
Members’ Travel & Subsistence Rates (From 1 April 2016)
Overnight Subsistence (24 Hours)
|Incidental Expenses included within overnight rate||11.80|
|Staying with relatives||25.00|
|Up to 10,000 miles||45p|
|Over 10,000 miles (5p per mile – passenger supplement)||25p|
|Private Motor Cycle||24p|