Councillors' remuneration and expenses: recommendations

Scottish Local Authorities Remuneration Committee (SLARC) was reconvened in April 2023 to undertake an independent review of councillor remuneration, having last reported in 2011.


Administration – The political groupings or councillors who are responsible taking the lead in policy formulation and decision making. Akin to the MSPs who form the Scottish Government. The majority of Senior Councillors in a local authority will belong to the Administration.

ASHE - Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings. Collated by the Office of National Statistics, it is the most comprehensive source of information on the structure and distribution of earnings in the UK.

Banding – The method of categorising councils to reflect their size and complexity, and their associated number of Senior Councillors and Leader’s remuneration.

Civic Head – The Provost, Lord Provost, or Convener of a local authority elected in terms of section 4(2) of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) 1994 Act.

COSLA – Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. Umbrella organisation representing the interests of Scotland’s 32 local authorities. Has a particular role in developing policy and engaging with the Scottish Government on a range of issues.

Councillor – Defined by the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004 (Remuneration) Regulations 2007, for the purposes of payment of remuneration, means a councillor who is not the Leader of the Council, the Civic Head or a Senior Councillor.

CPP – Community Planning Partnerships a formal statutory partnership of council and other public services in each Scottish local authority area that come together to take part in community planning. Each CPP focuses on where partners' collective efforts and resources can add the most value to their local communities.

Electoral Management Board – The Electoral Management Board for Scotland (EMB) consists of Returning Officers (ROs) and Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) drawn from across the country. They represent the officials responsible for delivering electoral events in Scotland.

Ethical Standards Commission – The organisation responsible for encouraging fairness, good conduct and transparency in public life in Scotland. They investigate complaints about the behaviour of MSPs, local authority councillors, and board members of public bodies.

Executive/Cabinet - the type of Administration a local authority uses to develop, implement, and monitor policy. In most cases, an Executive model will give decision-making powers to a Senior Councillor who is accountable to an oversight or scrutiny committee.

HSCP – Health and Social Care Partnerships are statutory bodies established to integrate a range of health and social care services provided by Health Boards and Councils in Scotland. Each partnership is jointly governed through an Integration Joint Board (IJB), or lead agency. IJBs/Lead Agency are responsible for the strategic planning and delivery of the functions delegated to the HSCP.

Improvement Service (IS) – established in 2005, IS was set up to deliver improvement support that would help councils to provide effective community leadership, strong local governance and deliver high quality, efficient local services.

Leader - The convener of a local authority elected in terms of section 4(1) of the 1994 Act or such other councillor as that local authority decides has the title of Leader of the Council for the purposes of payment of remuneration.

LGIU – Local Government Information Unit was established in 1983 and is an independent local authority membership organisation supporting councils across the UK and internationally through research and policy development.

Members’ Support Services – Council officers who are responsible for assisting elected members fulfil their democratic duties including administrative, diary management, case work, and other tasks associated with supporting councillors.

Monitoring Officer – a council officer responsible for the training of elected members on the Councillors Code of Conduct. This is a statutory appointment pursuant to section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

Opposition – the political groups or councillors who are not part of the Administration.

Resettlement Payment – A payment made to elected members who demit or lose office at an election. Currently, MPs and MSPs receive a similar allowance that is determined by length of service.

Senior Councillor – Defined by the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004 (Remuneration) Regulations 2007 for the purpose of payment of remuneration, a councillor who is designated as such by the local authority of which that person is an elected member.

SLARC – Scottish Local Authority Remuneration Committee. Reconvened in April 2023 to consider remuneration levels and barriers to elected office.

SOLACE – The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers is a representative body for senior strategic managers working in the public sector in the United Kingdom.

SOLAR – The Society of Local Authority Lawyers and Administrators in Scotland is a professional public sector organisation whose aim and purpose is to support the work of those professional officers employed in local authorities and associated organisations in Scotland.

SPDS –The Society of Personal Development Scotland is a professional association, comprised of Human Resource and Organisational Development Lead Officers from across the public sector in Scotland, that provides collective advice and support at a strategic level on all workforce matters in relation to the wider Scottish Local Government Workforce.

Standards Commission - an independent body whose purpose is to encourage high ethical standards in public life through the promotion and enforcement of Codes of Conduct for councillors and those appointed to the boards of devolved public bodies.

Verity House Agreement – a 2023 partnership agreement between COSLA and the Scottish Government that sets out a vision for greater collaboration and joint deliver across Scottish and local government.



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