Councillors in line for 6% pay increase next year
Rory Sheehan, local democracy reporter
Councillors could be in line for a pay increase of more than £1,000 from next year.
The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW), an independent body which sets councillors’ salaries, is recommending a 6.1% increase from £17,600 to £18,666 per annum.
Flintshire councillors have until 8 December to answer a questionnaire and have their say on the proposal which would be confirmed early next year and introduced from April.
It will be discussed by Flintshire Councillors at the authority’s constitution and democratic services committee next week.
A report to that committee states that the salary is proposed on the basis that the role of councillor is equivalent to that of an average constituent working full-time three days a week.
It says: “In its annual report 2022/23, the IRPW reset the basic salary for elected members of principal councils to align with the 2020 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), based on a full-time equivalent of three days a week.
“They have retained the link between basic salary of councillors and the average salaries of their constituents, according to ASHE.
“The IRPW has proposed the basic salary for elected members of principal Councils in 2024/25 shall be £18,666 with effect from April 1, 2024.
“Increases are also proposed for Cabinet Members, Council Leaders and their deputies, and Chairs of Committees where remunerated.”
As well as basic councillor salaries, the report states that the leader of the council, deputy leaders and members of the ruling cabinet will see their payments rise too.
The council leader role salary could rise from £59,400 to £62,900, while the deputy leader salary, split between two councillors who share the role, would increase from £41,580 to £44,099.
Cabinet members could see their annual salaries rise from £35,640 to £37,799. Aside from the leader and the two deputy leaders, there are six other members on Flintshire Council’s Cabinet.
Under the proposals, the leader of the largest opposition party would see their salary increase from £26,400 to £27,999 while chairs of committees will see their salaries increase to the same figure.
Allowances are set at a level to ensure anyone from any background can become a councillor, so that there are no financial barriers excluding anyone from standing, restricting the opportunity to only those who can afford to.
In its annual report published last month, the IRPW says: “The basic salary, paid to all elected members, is remuneration for the responsibility of community representation and participation in the scrutiny, regulatory and related functions of local governance.
“It is based on a full time equivalent of three days a week. The panel regularly reviews this time commitment, and no changes are proposed for 2024 to 2025.
“The panel is fully aware of the current constraints on public funding and the impact its decisions will have on the budgets of principal authorities.
“The panel is also mindful of our aims and objectives to provide a fair and reasonable remuneration package to support elected members and to encourage diversity of representation.”
The report notes that any member may write to the council to forgo any part of their payment under the determination of the panel for that particular year.
If the increases are accepted as per the IRPW report, there will be a budget increase of £88,921 for 2024-25 for Flintshire Council to contend with.
The authority is currently looking to make savings of £18m ahead of setting the budget for next year.
Flintshire Council’s constitution and democratic services committee meets on Wednesday (November 8) to discuss the report and its proposals.
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