News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Councillors in Flintshire could be set for £350 annual pay rise

Councillors in Flintshire look set to receive an annual pay boost of £350.

It comes after an independent body set up to review the pay of local politicians in Wales published its latest set of recommendations.

The basic yearly allowance for elected members in the county currently stands at £13,868.

The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales has proposed a 2.5 per cent increase, which would take the amount up to £14,218 from April 2020.

It is estimated the pay hike will cost Flintshire Council an extra £24,500 if it goes ahead, but no additional rise is proposed for those in senior positions.

Although there has been some opposition to previous increases, members of the panel said councillors deserved to be paid an amount which reflects their responsibilities.

In their draft annual report, they said: “We acknowledge that there may be some concerns about the financial impact of this increase when local government in Wales continues to be financially stretched.

“However, we have to balance the issue of affordability with fairness to members of local councils and recognise that the current level of payments means that many of them struggle financially.
“As we have consistently indicated, representative democracy does not come without a cost.

“In the current circumstances we consider our determinations set out in this report achieve this balance.”

They added: “We have previously indicated that payments to councillors have not kept pace with the original comparator the panel used to establish an appropriate level of remuneration because of pressures on public expenditure.

“We propose an increase in the basic salary of elected members of principal councils and members of both fire and rescue authorities and national park authorities to take account of the current rate of inflation which will help prevent further erosion.”

Flintshire Council’s constitution and democratic services committee is set to run the rule over the recommendations at a meeting on Wednesday.

Members will be asked to provide feedback for inclusion in the authority’s response to the consultation on the proposals.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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