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Local Government Finance Act (Northern Ireland) 2011

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

PART 3PAYMENTS TO COUNCILLORS, ETC.

Allowances, etc. for councillors

31.—(1) Regulations may provide for the payment by councils of such allowances or other payments as may be prescribed to councillors for, or in relation to anything done in connection with, service as councillors.

(2) Payments by a council under the regulations shall be of such amounts or at such rates as may be determined by the council, but shall not exceed such amounts or rates as may be determined by the Department.

(3) Regulations may require each council to make a scheme setting out the amounts or rates of the allowances or other payments determined by the council.

(4) Regulations under subsection (3) may require councils—

(a)to make a scheme by a prescribed date;

(b)to publish a scheme in a prescribed manner.

(5) Payments by a council under the regulations shall be made subject to and in accordance with—

(a)its scheme;

(b)regulations under this section; and

(c)any guidance issued by the Department.

(6) In this section any reference to a council includes a reference to a joint committee and any reference to the district of a council includes a reference to the districts of all the councils which have concurred in appointing the joint committee.

(7) In this section “joint committee” has the same meaning as in the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 (c. 9).

Allowances for chairperson and vice-chairperson

32.—(1) A council may pay an allowance to the chairperson of the council.

(2) A council may pay an allowance to any vice-chairperson of the council.

(3) An allowance under subsection (1) or (2) shall be of such amount as the council considers to be reasonable to meet the expenses of the office of chairperson or vice-chairperson as the case may be.

(4) An allowance under subsection (1) or (2) is in addition to any other allowance or other payment payable under this Part.

Expenses of official and courtesy visits, etc.

33.—(1) Subject to subsection (2), a council may—

(a)make payments towards expenditure reasonably incurred by councillors in making official or courtesy visits, whether inside or outside the United Kingdom, on behalf of the council;

(b)defray any expenses reasonably incurred in the reception and entertainment by way of official courtesy of distinguished persons residing in or visiting the district of the council or persons representative of or connected with local government or other public services whether inside or outside the United Kingdom, and in the supply of information to any such persons.

(2) Payments made by a council under subsection (1)(a) towards expenditure incurred by a councillor for any purpose corresponding to a purpose for which payments may be made under section 31 shall be at such rates as may be determined by the council, but shall not exceed the rates determined by the Department under section 31 for payments for the corresponding purpose.

Expenses incurred in attending conferences and meetings

34.—(1) Subject to subsection (3), a council may make payments towards expenditure reasonably incurred by a councillor in respect of attendance authorised by the council at any conference or meeting, whether inside or outside the United Kingdom, convened by any person or body (other than a person or body convening it in the course of a trade or business or a body whose objects are wholly or partly political) for the purpose of discussing matters which, in the opinion of the council, relate to—

(a)the interests of the district or any part of it; or

(b)the interests of the inhabitants of the district or any part of it.

(2) Payments made under subsection (1) may include any reasonable expenses incurred in purchasing reports of the proceedings of any such conference or meeting.

(3) Payments made by a council under subsection (1) towards expenditure incurred by a councillor for any purpose corresponding to a purpose for which payments may be made under section 31 shall be at such rates as may be determined by the council but shall not exceed the rates determined by the Department under section 31 for payments for the corresponding purpose.

Panel to advise on payments to councillors

35.—(1) Regulations may establish a panel to advise the Department on payments by councils to councillors.

(2) Regulations under this section may make provision relating to the membership and functions of the panel.

(3) Regulations under this section may in particular include provision—

(a)requiring the panel to comply with directions given by the Department (including directions requiring the panel to provide the Department with advice or information in relation to such matters as the Department may direct);

(b)requiring the Department to make available to the panel such premises, staff and services as the panel may reasonably require; and

(c)requiring the Department to pay to members of the panel such allowances as the Department may determine.

Interpretation

36.  In this Part “councillor” includes a member of a committee or sub-committee of a council, whether that person is a member of the council or not, and in section 34(1) includes an officer of a council.

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