HOW much do Dorset Council’s newly-elected councillors get paid?

This depends on which positions you hold – but varies from £51,280 for the council leader to £14,689 for ‘back bench’ councillors.

The payments, referred to as ‘allowances’, are in recognition of the time devoted to their work as councillors including attending meetings and ward activities.  The council say the basic sum is intended to cover incidental costs such as subsistence, use of homes and private telephones and any IT consumables.

In addition to the basic allowance (£14,689) those with other responsibilities can claim additional allowances which range from £36,591 for the leader of the council and £23,000 a year for cabinet members and the deputy leader.

Committee chairs get an additional £10,454 a year, the same amount which is paid to the chair of the council, with £5,227 for the vice chair of the council. This applies to the audit and governance committee, overview committees, scrutiny committees and all planning committees.

Chairs of other committees are paid £5,227, the same amount which is paid to minority group leaders.

In addition to these payments councillors can claim 45p per mile for use of their car and an extra 5p per mile for each passenger carried. Payments are also made for motorcycles at 24p a mile and bicycles at 20p a mile.

Payments are also available in certain circumstances for meals while on official business and £91.63 for overnight stays, or £120.25 for greater London.

Some councillors may also be able to claim £13 per hour for a dependent carers’ allowance for children, elderly people or people with a disability which the councillor would normally have looked after had they not been on Dorset Council business where travelling allowances are payable.

Dorset Council say that the allowances and claimable expenses are available to all 82 councillors but not all councillors claim what they are entitled to.