An independent panel has recommended a rise in councillor allowances, Brighton and Hove City Council said.

The panel, made up of people who do not work for the council, issued a report that advises an increase in both councillors’ special responsibility allowances and basic allowances.

At present all councillors receive a total basic allowance of £13,593 a year. Some councillors – including the leader, deputy and committee chairs - also receive one special responsibility allowance (SRA) for carrying out extra duties. 

They can also claim the cost of travel and subsistence expenses and for expenditure on the care of children or dependents whilst on approved councillor duties.

Councillors’ special responsibility allowances are recommended to rise on average by 10.7% whilst basic allowances may rise by 4.6%, to £14,218.

According to the report, the council leader may receive £36,967 on top of the basic £13,593 a year, while the deputy leaders could get £17,559, Cabinet members £12,938, and the leader of the opposition and chair of the licensing committee £12,199.

The panel has estimated that these allowance increases would cost the council £1.051m, a rise of £102,000.

The report states: “An important part of being a councillor is the desire to serve the public and, therefore, not all of what a councillor does should be remunerated. Part of a councillor’s time should be given voluntarily.

“The basic allowance should encourage people from a wide range of backgrounds and with a wide range of skills to serve as local councillors.

“Those who participate in and contribute to the democratic process should not suffer unreasonable financial disadvantage as a result of doing so.”

The last review of councillors’ allowances was undertaken in 2019. 

The report is due to be debated at the annual council meeting on May 16.