Independent panel confirms increase in councillors’ basic salary
Councillor pay is set to increase with the annual councillor salary going up by more than £260 and by £800 for senior members.
The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) has confirmed the increase in basic and senior salaries as part of its Annual Report published this week.
Councillors in Flintshire had been invited to give their views on the plans, but the final decision in the rise rests with the IRPW which was set up by the Welsh Government.
The IRPW produced analyses of basic members’ salaries between 2010 and 2018 and made the point that backbench 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
Within the document the Panel states that it has “consistently expressed its view that maintaining the democratic values of local governance cannot be cost-free,” adding:
“Members of local authorities (including co-opted and appointed members) are there to represent the interests of local people, undertake the governance of local communities, and secure appropriate value for money public services for local tax-payers through effective scrutiny for which they are accountable to their community.
“These are significant and important tasks for members of the relevant authorities within the Panel’s remit.
“Payments to members are made available to encourage a diversity of willing and able people to undertake local governance through their elected, appointed or co-opted roles.”
As a result the basic salary for councillors will be increased by 1.97 per cent to £13,868 for the next financial year.
In terms of pay for leaders and members of the executive boards, the IRPW state that the aside from the basic element, the salaries “have not been increased for several years”.
The Panel goes onto say that the “salaries of leaders and members of the executive have not been increased for several years (except for the increase in the basic element).
The Panel has therefore determined that there should be a modest increase of £800 to the Band 1 and Band 2 senior salaries payable to the Leader, Deputy Leader and Executive Members.
This is inclusive of the £268 increase to the basic salary that all members will receive.”
Flintshire Council approved an 8.75 per cent council tax on Tuesday, councillors said they were left with little option but to put rates up by 8.75 per cent in light of the £3.1m budget gap facing them in 2019/20.
When asked on social media about the pay rise one senior councillor told a local resident not to be “silly.”
Responding to the news of the council tax rise Neil Davies asked on Twitter: “Are thy [sic] awarding [Councillors] themselves another pay rise?”
In response Cllr Christine Jones (Lab, Sealand)) cabinet member for Social Services said: “Oh Neil don’t be silly. We are however protecting our public services, Education, Social Care, Streetscene services, Children’s Services, Disability Services, Mental Health Services, leisure services and much more.”
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