Independent body recommends a 4.7% salary increase for councillors next year

COUNCILLORS in Wales will get a 4.7% pay rise under plans being put forward by an independent body.

It would mean councillors receiving a £17,600 salary from April 1 – up £800 from currently.

Local authorities are being consulted on the draft proposals by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW), which sets elected members’ salaries.

The IRPW has also recommended that council leaders’ salaries increase from £63,000 to £66,000, with similar rises for cabinet members and opposition group leaders. The deputy council leader would be paid £46,200, up from the current £44,100.

Swansea Council’s democratic services committee is due to discuss the proposals at a meeting on November 7. Implementing the increases for all 75 councillors would cost the council £71,570.

A report before the committee said independent members of health boards in Wales earned £15,936, based on a minimum commitment of four days per month.

“The IRPW have based a councillor’s salary on three days per week,” it said.

Councillors’ pay is already 16.9% per cent higher than it was last year. The IRPW said the hike implemented last May was timely as councillors’ pay had been eroded for years, but it caused some mixed feelings for the democratic services committee when members discussed it in November 2021.

Speaking at the time, Cllr Mike Durke said the 16.9% rise did not sit comfortably, but that the role had become extremely busy and more professional. Councillors, he said, were effectively “on duty constantly” in the electronic age.

Cllr Nick Davies, who stood down at the local government elections in May, said better rates of pay would encourage more diverse candidates to stand for election. The last thing councillors wanted, he said, was for the role to be “a retirement hobby for middle-class people who are comfortable”.

Following the consultation, the IRPW will publish a final report on councillors’ pay for 2022-23 in February next year.

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