7. Subsistence Allowances and Travelling Expenses

Travel and subsistence allowances can only be paid for duties, which have been approved by the Council before the duty is performed. Approved Duties are defined in legislation as set out in schedule 3.

A subsistence allowance and travelling expenses claim can only be payable to Members in relation to the following approved duties:
  • a meeting of the Cabinet
  • a meeting of a committee of the Cabinet
  • a meeting of the authority
  • a meeting of a committee 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 makes appointments or nominations
  • 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 made under section 135 of the Local Government Act 1972 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 purpose of section 342 of the Education Act 1996
  • carrying out any other duty approved by the body, or any duty of a class so approved, for the purpose of, or in connection with, the discharge of the functions of the body, or of any of its committees or sub-committees. Including Representational Duties, subject to the following provisos:
    • That the activity is non-political representational work, in the community, relating to the functions of the authority where there is a demonstrable link between the issue dealt with by the Member and his or her role as a Councillor as evidenced by one or more of the following:
      1. a report (verbally or in writing) by the Member to an appropriate Scrutiny meeting
      2. a reference to a Chief Officer, Ombudsman or other relevant person
      3. a reference to an appropriate external organisation
    • That sufficient details of the work are submitted with any claim, so as to enable an appropriate audit of the activity to be undertaken. Officers would be expected to carry out a management check of the claim and activity before processing the claim for payment and any "audit" by the Internal Audit Service would be to ensure that there was appropriate evidence of management checks being undertaken.
  • Any other duty approved by the Council connected with the discharge of the Council's functions or its Cabinet, Quasi Judicial Committees, Scrutiny, Area Committees, or other committees from time to time appointed by the Council.

Members are reminded of the need to sign a record of attendance at approved duties.

Subsistence Allowance

Subsistence allowance can only be claimed for the time necessary to attend approved duties, including necessary travelling time (ie not all the time spend away from the Members residence, if some of that time includes non eligible activities).

Subsistence allowances are claimable to enable a Member to perform any approved duty except that:

  • Law prescribes some maximum figures and the Council has adopted these.
  • Members should note that expenditure must be incurred before subsistence allowance may be claimed.
  • Reimbursements supported by receipts and vouchers will be paid in full
  • Claims not supported by receipts and vouchers will not be paid
The maximum rates are reviewed annually and are set out in Schedule 2 to the Scheme

Where a meal is provided free of charge (except where the Member is in any case required to pay full board) then a deduction shall be made at the rates set out in Schedule 2. Where a Member travels overnight by train and uses sleeping accommodation, then the subsistence allowances payable for that night will be reduced by one third.

Where a substantial journey has to be undertaken eg to London or Aberdeen, Members are permitted to leave the previous day if they would otherwise have to leave home before 8.30am. They may return the following day if they would otherwise arrive home after 10.00pm.

Hotel and other accommodation must be booked in advance by the Members Assistant to enable the Council to secure such discounts which may be available to it. In these circumstances Members are entitled to claim the relevant elements of the daily rate.

If, for reasons of urgency, a Member makes a booking direct and pays for the accommodation, reimbursement will be limited to the lower of actual cost or the maximum permitted rate and subject to the conditions set out in para 55. For conferences and any visits abroad, an estimate of the cost of subsistence must be calculated and approval sought from the Leader of the Council or his/her deputy prior to departure. Then subsistence will be paid as follows
  • Reasonable expenditure on production of receipted invoices.
  • Normal subsistence rate for any period not covered by receipted invoices.
It is appreciated that, where conference organisers allocate accommodation in advance, the Member has no choice; in other cases Members are asked to be reasonable in their choice of accommodation.

Travelling Expenses

The Council has determined that, within the limits laid down by regulations, the following scales of travelling expenses will apply:

Rail Travel:
  • Members should travel by standard class rail unless the Leader of the Council expressly states otherwise.
  • Members must make travel arrangements through the Members Assistant in the Democratic Services Section of the Director of Corporate Resources (except on grounds of urgency).
Air Travel:
  • Is permitted where it can be demonstrated to be more cost effective than alternative modes of transport in terms of saving in time, saving in overnight accommodation and subsistence costs. All bookings must be made through the Members Assistant except on the grounds of urgency after consultation with the Chief Financial Officer.
Use of Private Motor Vehicle:
  • Members who use their private motor vehicle in the course of their approved duties may claim reimbursement of costs in accordance with the rates set out for Officers for the relevant Municipal Year.

Hackney Carriage:
  • Hackney Carriage (taxi) fares or Private Hire Fares will be reimbursed on the production of a receipt as follows:
  • Within the boundaries of the Tees Valley Authorities where no public transport is available (for example to reach a railway station or the Town Hall when public transport is not available).
  • Outside the boundaries of the Tees Valley Authorities. This is in recognition that generally public transport will not supply the door to door service needed on such occasions.

Hired Vehicles:
Where it is cost effective to do so hired vehicles may be used. Such hire should be arranged through the Members Assistant (except in an emergency and in consultation with the Chief Financial Officer).

Other Incidental Travel Costs:
Actual expenditure will be reimbursed for costs incurred on tolls, ferries, and parking fees outside the Borough. Receipts must be obtained.

Members can obtain a car parking permit for parking within the Borough from the Car Parking Department.

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Last updated:
09/08/2016

Assigned review date:
25/05/2017

Awaiting page content review by the allocated team


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6. Dependent Carers Allowance
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Members' Allowance Scheme
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