Payment of allowances

Basic Allowance

The annual basic allowance is £13,055, payable to each member in monthly instalments, in arrears.

Special Responsibilities Allowances

The following are specified as the positions carrying special responsibilities, for which special responsibility allowances are payable. Payments will be made in monthly instalments, in arrears.

(A Member may claim only one such allowance, which, in the case of ambiguity, is the special responsibility allowance with the highest value):

RoleMultiple of basic allowanceSRA April 2023 (multiplier of £13,055 basic allowance)
Cabinet member0.7£9,139
Leader of the main opposition group0.6£7,833
Other group leader (5 or more members)0.3£3,917
Other group leader (2 to 4 members)0.2£2,611
Chair of a regulatory committee0.35£4,569
Chair of a scrutiny panel0.25£3,264
Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson0.1£1,306
Lord Mayor *0.7£9,139
Deputy Lord Mayor *0.1£1,306

The basic allowance is index linked to any annual pay adjustment that may be awarded to local government officers, and does not constitute an amendment to this scheme.

* Recognising the roles of Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor are greater than is required normally of a councillor, as per The Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003, Special Responsibility Allowances.

Technical Additions

  1. Members’ allowances will be annually adjusted in accordance with average percentage pay award figures applicable to local government employees from 1st April of each year (or from whenever implemented).
  2. When the term of office for a member begins or ends other than at the beginning or end of a financial year, entitlement shall be to payment of part of the basic or special responsibility allowance as is proportionate to the number of days served as a member/holding the relevant special responsibility allowance in that year.
  3. A member may elect to forgo an allowance or any part of an allowance by giving notice of such intention in writing to the Payroll and Pensions Manager.

Travel rates

Travel allowance is claimable by members at the same rate as officers, and these will be updated in line with such rates. The private motor vehicle business mileage rate will be updated when HM Revenue and Customs review the rate.

Travelling Allowance

Travelling expenses cannot be claimed for business journeys within the city as these expenses are covered by the members’ basic allowance with the exception of late night taxis (see note below). Travel claims to a destination outside the City must be from a member’s Portsmouth registered address, (or from the Council’s Civic Offices if that is the member’s starting point and is nearer to the destination). Claims from another location can be made if it is nearer to the destination outside the City.

Where expenditure is necessarily incurred on travelling away from the city on formally approved city council business within the United Kingdom a member may claim an allowance not exceeding the following:

  • Public Transport (bus/train etc): The ordinary fare
  • Private Motor Vehicles:
    • Petrol, diesel or hybrid: 45p per mile (Max of 60 miles per claim and 10,000 miles per year) 25p per mile thereafter
    • Electric: 20p per mile
    • All other fuel types: 14p per mile
  • Private Motorcycles: 24p per mile
  • Bicycles: 20p per mile


  • When engaged on city council business within the city after 11 pm and where no alternative means of transport are reasonably available, Members may claim the actual expenditure incurred.
    NB: Receipts for expenditure incurred where taxis or public transport must be retained and submitted with the members’ claim. In addition a VAT receipt for at least 50% of the total claim is required when claiming motor vehicle/cycle mileage.
  • When engaged on city council business out of the city and in cases of urgency or where no public transport is reasonably available, Members may claim the amount of the actual fare and any reasonable gratuity.
    A claim for travel under this scheme shall be made within two months of the date of the meeting.

Subsistence Allowance

Subsistence is not claimable.

Carers' Allowance

This allowance is to enable a carer to be employed to look after a child or an elderly or disabled person who normally resides with a councillor and cannot be left alone. This allowance can only be claimed when the Member concerned is required to attend approved meetings as per Appendix 1.

A carers’ allowance is not applicable for party group meetings, canvassing or electioneering, but is available for ward work, advice centres and civic functions. Reimbursement for meetings is allowed beyond the actual duration of the meeting, given that care must usually be booked in advance for a fixed period. The allowance will not be payable to the claimant’s own household.

The rate of reimbursement for carers’ allowance is equivalent to the Living Wage Foundation rate of £12 per hour. This is per person cared for and is unlimited.

Records of any payments made must be submitted to the local democracy manager. No payment under this scheme can be made without receipts.

NB:  Any claim for carers’ allowances made under this scheme shall be made within two months of the meeting.

Other allowances

IT Allowance

An IT allowance is not claimable.

Attendance Allowances

In accordance with Section 99(4) of the Local Government Act 2000, attendance allowances are no longer payable.

Private telephones and private telephone usage

The costs involved in the installation of a telephone line at a member’s private address, the costs of council related calls made from such a telephone and the monthly line rental for the telephone are not claimable.

Mobile phone allowance

All Members are entitled to the use of a council-owned mobile phone, and may receive reimbursement for all council business calls made.

Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)

In accordance with The Local Government Pension Scheme (Transitional Provisions, Savings and Amendment) Regulations 2014, members can no longer join the LGPS.

Outside bodies appointments

Any remuneration received through representing the Council on any Outside Body sits outside the Scheme.

Appendix 1 (to the Members’ Allowances Scheme)

Approved duties for the purposes of claiming carer’s and travel allowances:

  • a meeting of the Cabinet (including informal Cabinet meetings).
  • a meeting of a committee of the Cabinet.
  • a meeting of the authority.
  • a meeting of a committee, panel or sub-committee of the authority.
  • a meeting of some other body to which the authority make appointments or nominations, or
  • a meeting of a committee or sub-committee of a body to which the authority make appointments or nominations
  • ward advice centres, and other ward work.
  • civic functions.
  • a meeting which has both been authorised by the authority, a committee, or sub-committee of the authority or a joint committee of the authority and one or more other authorities, or a sub-committee of a joint committee and to which representatives of more than one political group have been invited (if the authority is divided into several political groups) or to which two or more councillors have been invited (if the authority is not divided into political groups).
  • a meeting of a local authority association of which the authority is a member.
  • duties undertaken on behalf of the authority in pursuance of any standing order requiring a member or members to be present while tender documents are opened.
  • duties undertaken on behalf of the authority in connection with the discharge of any function of the authority conferred by or under any enactment and empowering or requiring the authority to inspect or authorise the inspection of premises.
  • duties undertaken on behalf of the authority in connection with arrangements made by the authority for the attendance of pupils at a school approved for the purposes of section 342 of the Education Act 1996.
  • any other duty approved by the authority in connection with discharging the duties of the authority or its committees or sub-committees.