The Inspectorate’s surveys showed councillors are generally satisfied with the resources and facilities provided to them. Despite this, councils would benefit from receiving current guidance on what they should reasonably be expected to provide to councillors.

The review of annual reports and discussions with councils revealed councils are categorising expenses in different ways. This is due largely to an absence of definitions of the five expenses categories in the Act or 2014 Regulations. Councils need guidance on what the categories mean and how to deal with expenses falling outside of these categories. This would improve consistency in reporting and aid comparison of councillor expenses across councils, thereby increasing transparency.

Aside from standard disclosures in their annual reports, councils are generally not making expenses information publicly available on a regular basis. Greater transparency would be achieved by implementing a sector wide practice of regular public expense reporting via council websites.