News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Flintshire Councillors set to discuss pay rise proposals

Politicians in Flintshire are set to debate proposals for them to be given a pay rise.

An independent panel has suggested an increase of about £800 per year for cabinet members and just under £270 for councillors on a basic salary.

The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) has made the recommendations in its draft annual report.

Councillors are being invited to give their views on the plans, but the final decision rests with the outside body, which was set up by the Welsh Government.

In neighbouring Wrexham, committee members recently voiced strong objections to receiving a pay rise at a time of significant public sector cuts.

In a report Gareth Owens, Flintshire Council’s chief officer for governance,  said the changes would add an extra budget pressure of approaching £30,000 at a time when the authority needs to save £15 million.

He said: “Members will be aware that the IRPW produces a report on an annual basis, which sets out what it has decided should be the rates of payment to members and co-optees of local authorities in Wales for the following year.

“There is a slight change proposed for the basic salary of 1.97 per cent which equates to £268 on each basic salary which will increase from £13,600 to £13,868.

“To set this determination in context, the IRPW has produced analyses of basic members’ salaries and alternative comparators between 2010 and 2018 and made the point that [back]bench council members salaries have remained relatively static over nine years.

“Over the same period, they have pointed out, assembly members’ salaries have increased by 24 per cent and Members of Parliament by 17.7 per cent.

“An increase of £800 is proposed for leaders and cabinet members which is inclusive of the £268 increase being paid to all councillors.”

If councillors do receive the pay rise they have the individual choice of whether to accept, reject or give it to a charity or other organisation.

Members of the Labour group in Wrexham previously said they would be donating their increase to charity.

The proposals will be discussed at a full council meeting at County Hall in Mold tomorrow, Tuesday 20th November.

Mr Owens will then write a response to the IRPW on behalf of the council, reflecting councillors’ views.

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

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