Councillors' allowances

The Local Authorities (Members' Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 require local authorities to make a scheme of allowances for their members and to establish and maintain an independent remuneration panel to make recommendations to the Council about the scheme and the amounts to be paid.

The Regulations make specific provision for the London Councils (formerly the Association of London Government) to establish a panel, which could exercise the functions of an independent remuneration panel on behalf of London borough councils.

Allowances for 2022/23

This panel most recently reviewed allowances in their report ‘The Remuneration of Councillors in London’ published in January 2022..

This notice sets out the allowances for Wandsworth Councillors for the financial year 2022/23. At its meeting on 20 July 2022, the Council decided not to accept the full amounts recommended by the independent panel, nor its proposal that allowances should be uprated for inflation in line with the local government pay award. The current Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2022/23 remains largely unchanged apart from some proposed changes to the special responsibility allowances (SRAs) where there have been some amendments to titles for the roles and some additional champion roles have been added reflecting the new Administration’s priorities. There are also minor changes to the amounts paid for opposition SRAs, but again contained within the budget envelope. The cost of the overall scheme remains within the budget.

The panel recommended that reimbursement could be paid through allowance schemes to those Councillors who incur expenditure for the care of children or dependent relations whilst undertaking particular duties. The Panel recommended that a maximum hourly rate should be set locally and this was set at £11.05. The Panel sets out a number of conditions, which should apply.

The Council may pay allowances to formal co-opted (non-elected) members of Council committees and this was included in the Scheme at £746.54 per year. The exceptions are the two Independent Persons on the Standards Committee who each receive £400 per year.

The Council sets aside a fund of £4,400 per annum for those elected Members who serve on Adoption and Fostering Panels through the year.  This is apportioned across the appointed Members.

Roles with Special Responsibility Allowances

If a Councillor has a certain role or special responsibility they are eligible for further allowances.

Leader of the Council

Strategic leadership of the authority; responsibility and accountability for the work of the Council across all its services; spokesperson for the Council in the media and elsewhere; representing the Council at meetings and events (e.g. with government ministers/departments, local authority associations, etc.); chairing Executive meetings; chairing ward-based Report Back Meetings.

Executive (Cabinet) Member

Leadership of the Council's responsibilities in respect of the particular portfolio allocated to a Cabinet member by the Leader; spokesperson for the Council in the media and elsewhere in respect of this portfolio; representing the Council in this regard at meetings and events (e.g. with government ministers/departments, local authority associations, etc.); advice on policy priorities for consideration; strategic policy advice for consideration on budget priorities; and performance management monitoring for all services in their portfolio.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) Chairman

Leading the scrutiny of the Council's activity and plans in particular areas of service and lead responsibility for improving these through the scrutiny process; involvement in the preparation of business for the OSC meetings and chairing of those committee meetings; supporting the relevant Cabinet Member in their role of representing the Council in that area of service. In the case of the Adult Care and Health OSC, leading the scrutiny of all health services in the Borough and liaison with partner organisations in the health sector.

Planning Applications Committee Chairman

Leading the Council's responsibilities in relation to land use planning and the physical development of the borough, including key development sites; involvement in the preparation of business for the committee and chairing of those committee meetings; representing the Council on town planning issues.

Planning Applications Committee Deputy Chairman

Supporting the Chairman in the full range of their duties, including chairing the Conservation Advisory Committee.

Licensing Committee Chairman

Leading the Council's responsibilities in relation to licensing of premises across the borough for a range of regulated activities and protection of local communities from the impact of such activities; involvement in the preparation of business for the committee and chairing of those committee meetings; representing the Council on licensing issues; involvement in considering licensing applications as a member of the Licensing Sub-Committee.

Council Champions

These are new roles in 2022/23 and are as follows:

Refugees Champion – supports the Cabinet Member for Business, Voluntary Services and Culture:

  • Raise awareness of the needs of refugees to the public
  • Advocate for refugee issues internally to the council
  • Promote Wandsworth as a Borough of Sanctuary Equalities Champion supports the Cabinet member for Business, Voluntary Services and Culture
  • Raise awareness of needs of people with protected characteristics
  • Support national special equality days
  • Examine Wandsworth Council’s equality processes and makes recommendations for improvement

Clean Energy Champion – supports the Cabinet member for the Environment:

  • Lead political expert on Clean Energy
  • Research best practise and innovation in other boroughs; highlight paths to and examples of decarbonisation

Air Quality Champion – supports the Cabinet member for the Environment:

  • Joint lead political expert on Clean Air
  • Research best practise and innovation in other boroughs

Active Travel Champion – supports the Cabinet member for Transport:

  • Champion cycling and pedestrian interests in the Borough, representing the Council at community events and at London-wide events
  • Promote the health benefits of walking and cycling
  • Work with Cabinet Members, the Chief Executive and Directors (particularly in services leading on environment and transport) to ensure cyclists’ and pedestrians’ needs are considered in their activities

Safety and Well-being Champion - supports the Cabinet Member for Adults:

  • Promote safer communities across Wandsworth in line with issues raised by residents
  • Promote more action to tackle violence against women and girls in Wandsworth
  • Develop and create safer shared spaces
  • Demonstrate the Council's utmost commitment to safety across all departments and engagement with residents
  • Work with safer neighbourhood groups

Mental Health Champion - supports the Champion Cabinet Member for Adults:

  • Liaise with local and national mental health stakeholders, including Centre for Mental Health who provide information for champions across England
  • Liaise with mental health champions across the Country
  • Develop Wandsworth’s reputation as an example of best practice in local authorities when considering a holistic approach to mental health

Tenants’ Champion – supports the Cabinet Member for housing:

  • Monitor, learn and make suggestions to improve the systems and practices through which the Council supports and deals with its Council tenants.
  • Support implementation of changes to Council systems to improve tenants’ experience of the Council as its landlord
  • Advocate within Wandsworth for council tenants and their needs.

Leader of the Opposition

Leading and representing the Minority Group of Councillors and fulfilling the formal roles of this position as required in the Council's Constitution and legislation. 

Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Supporting the Leader of the Opposition in the full range of their duties.

Opposition Chief Whip

Organisation and coordination of the Minority Group of Councillors.  

Adoption and Fostering Panels

Attendance at meetings of these panels to participate in decisions on the placement of children for adoption and fostering.

Co-optee

To act as a Member of the Education and Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee appointed as a legal representative of church authorities or parent governors; or serving on the Standards Committee as a legal Independent Member, including involvement in the consideration of complaints of misconduct by Members of the authority.