“Now is the wrong time” to increase councilors’ salaries, said a senior member of the Blaenau Gwent County City Council.
At the County Borough Council plenary meeting on Thursday 25 November, councilors opposed a proposal by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) that the annual base salary be increased from Â£ 14,368 to Â£ 16,800 after next year’s election.
Earlier this month, a meeting of the council’s democratic services committee reviewed the IRPW and recommended that the council deny the increase.
Democratic Services Committee Chairman Cllr John C Morgan said: âAfter much debate, we have taken into account that at present Council staff have been offered a salary increase. 1.7% and the NHS was also offered a much lower salary. increase than what should be considered.
âWe thought the IRPW recommendation was overkill and we should let them know.
Vice President of Democratic Services Cllr Bob Summers said: âThese increases are too drastic, but I would like to support in the report the cost of care and personal assistance, I think we need to look at this more. near and where we are. with regard to members who claim it.
The board’s director of organizational development, Richard Bridge, told the advisers: âThere is little turnout, maybe two at most. ”
This section of the IRPW draft report concerns the payment of someone outside the home of a counselor to care for a child or elderly parent while participating in official council affairs, such as than meetings.
Labor group leader Cllr Steve Thomas said: “Now is not the right time to do it, there are too many people suffering especially with the pandemic and we have to stand up with the workforce. ‘artwork.”
Councilor Wayne Hodgins added that Councilors do not enter politics for money “but to make a difference” for their communities.
The IRPW report is a draft which has been the subject of consultation with local Welsh authorities.
The consultation ends tomorrow, Friday November 26, and a final report is expected for the new year.
IRPW President John Bader said the increases were “fair.”
The IRPW believes that the local elections of May 2022 offer “an opportune moment to rectify the imbalance between the base salary of councilors and the average salaries of their constituents”.
After the elections next May, the number of Blaenau Gwent councilors will drop from 42 to 33.
The changes proposed by the IRPW would also result in a significant increase in salary payments to senior executives for council heads, deputy heads and members of the cabinet or executive.
IRPW believes that board leaders should be paid a salary ‘equal to or greater’ than that of a member of the Senedd backbench and that being part of the cabinet / executive should be considered ‘work. fulltime “.
Whoever heads the council after the May election could receive Â£ 53,550, a salary dropping from Â£ 44,921 now.
The Deputy Chief could receive Â£ 37,485, up from Â£ 31,783 currently.
The cabinet / executive adviser would receive Â£ 32,130 compared to Â£ 27,741.
Other leadership positions such as committee chairs or women, opposition leader and other group leaders would remain at this year’s level, but the incumbent would receive the base increase.
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