Frank Little

Councillor for East Central ward on Coedffranc Town Council Learn more

Councillors now salaried, but remuneration cut

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 Responses

  1. franklittle says:

    I forgot to mention that Neath Port Talbot council let pass an opportunity to discuss the direction the IRP should take. The matter was originally tabled on the agenda for the council which was cancelled in the aftermath of the Gleision disaster. It mysteriously disappeared from the agenda from the next council meeting, when there was still time to comment before the deadline.

  2. E.Graham John says:

    It is my understanding that the IRP (Wales) declares maximum permissible payment rates and ratios of senior posts for Councillors, but who decides that these should be adopted by an individual Council. I see, for example, from a supplementary paper submitted to Council by D. Michael, that the local council decide to accept, or reject, the full suggested mileage rates (45p/mile). Is a similar paper submitted to Council to vote on the basic salary rates (2013/2014) of £13,175?
    E.Graham John

Leave a Reply to franklittle

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>