Gwent council leaders in line for pay rises of more than £3,000 next year
Twm Owen LDRS Reporter
Council leaders across Gwent are in line for pay rises of more than £3,000 next year.
The body which sets the pay for councillors across Wales wants Newport City Council leader Jane Mudd and her counterpart in Caerphilly, Sean Morgan, to be paid nearly £63,000 each next year.
It also thinks the elected leaders of Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire and Torfaen councils should get pay rises of more than £3,000.
Three day working week
The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales is recommending the basic salary for all councillors serving on Wales’ 22 unitary authorities – such as Newport City Council and Torfaen Borough Council – should rise to £18,666 from April 1 next year.
This year’s increase is intended to retain the link between a councillor’s basic salary and average earnings and it will be aligned with three fifths of the all Wales 2022 ASHE figure.
The panel said the salary, paid on a basis of working three days a week, had fallen behind average earnings since the 2017 elections and it is “fully aware of the current constraints on public funding and the impact its decisions will have on budgets”.
The basic salary is intended to “provide a fair and reasonable remuneration package” and is also intended to ensure people aren’t financially disadvantaged from serving as councillors.
The pay rises for council leaders have also been determined in line with the ASHE figure and this means the leaders of Wales’ biggest councils, such as Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taf, will receive a salary of £69,998 from April next year.
As the leaders of what are the second largest councils, known as group B councils, Cllr Mudd in Newport and Cllr Morgan in Caerphilly are being recommended for increases of £3,598 from next year which will take their salaries to £62,998.
Their deputy leaders should, the panel says, get pay rises of £2,519 to take their salaries to £44,099 while cabinet members – who have responsibilities for areas such as education, leisure and finance – are in line for an extra £2,159 to boost their salaries to £37,799.
The panel wants Monmouthshire council leader Mary Ann Brocklesby, Torfaen’s top man Anthony Hunt and Blaenau Gwent’s big boss Stephen Thomas to each take home £59,498 from April next year.
The panel, which hasn’t published current salary figures for comparison only the proposed increases and new salary levels, is consulting on its plans until Friday 8 December.
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