by franklittle on 30 December, 2011
At present, Neath Port Talbot council members are paid an annual basic allowance of £13,356 (see this pdf). The council used to determine this allowance itself, but using the advice of the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRP) as a basis. For the last two years, there has been a standstill, in spite of the the IRP’s recommendation that there should have been an increase in both years. Now the IRP’s determination is binding, so all councils in Wales will have to accept their calculations. However, this will lead to a cut in Neath Port Talbot, not a rise, as the IRA has revised its basis for calculation, bearing in mind the economic situation. The new figure will be £13,175.
So far, so good. At the same time, the IRP has yielded to pressure and designated the allowance as a salary. This will no doubt make things nice and tidy for Her Majesty’s Revenue and perhaps help members seeking loans or mortgages, but to me it diminishes the role of councillor. From being a representative of the people who gives up some or all of his or her time, he or she becomes gradually more of an elected official and all that that implies. It is clearly not going to change the attitudes of us current members, but I worry about the long-term implications. On the whole, though, I welcome the report’s realism.
The IRP’s full report is in a pdf here.3 Comments