Councillors in Gwent to receive £800 pay-rise from April

BLAENAU Gwent councillors will receive an £800 rise in their basic salary from next month onwards.

At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Democratic Services committee next Monday, March 27, councillors will discuss the decisions of the Independent Remuneration Panel of Wales (IRPW), which sets councillors pay.

Last year, councillors all over Wales were given were given a £2,432 rise after the IRPW reinstated the link between councillors’ salary and the Annual Survey of Hourly Earnings (ASHE), which is published by the Office of National Statistics. (ONS).

The IRPW met in February and confirmed that the basic salary will go up by 4.76 per cent, which equates to £800 for the 2023/24 financial year.

This will take councillors basic pay up to £17,600.

Increases would also be made to the salary of the leader, deputy leader and cabinet members on top of the basic rise.

An eight-week consultation on the draft proposals took place last year from October 6 to December 1.

At a council meeting in November Blaenau Gwent councillors said that they were “unhappy” with the IRPW proposals especially given the financial “dark times” the country is experiencing.

Due to the cost of living crisis Blaenau Gwent councillors unanimously agreed to tell the IRPW that their pay “should be frozen” to its current level.

But the IRPW’s final report shows that there was support from those who fed into their consultation for the increase.

IRPW chairwoman Frances Duffy said: “As part of the consultation process, stakeholders were invited to answer five questions using an online survey or by return email.

“A total of 89 responses were received online, whilst 44 were submitted by email.

“Overall, the responses supported the panel’s determinations and so no changes have been made.

“In some areas the wording of the determinations has been strengthened to clarify areas of uncertainty raised through the consultation, primarily a restatement of the ability for members, on an individual basis, to opt out of part or all of their remuneration.”

Ms Duffy said that the panel had decided this year will be one for “consolidation” which allows the decision from last year to “bed in.”

She added that the panel would “continue to develop” research and evidence that would form the basis to future decisions.

In debates on the pay increase during the last year it has been stressed to Blaenau Gwent that they can put their salary towards worthy causes or the presiding member’s fund.

The salary changes to leader, deputy leader and cabinet member and committee chairman/chairwoman proposed by the IRPW are:

Leader – £56,100 up from £53,550.

Deputy leader – £39,2750 up from £37,485.

Cabinet members – £33,660 up from £32,130.

Committee chairman/chairwoman – £26,400 up from £25,593.

Leader of the largest opposition group – £26,400 up from £25,593.


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