KA-CHING!! ….CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY FOR PENARTH TOWN COUNCILLORS

The Snowman will soon be the only person in Penarth Town Council who isn’t paid anything

A historic change is in prospect for Penarth Town Council which – for the first time – is to be required to pay salaries to its “senior” councillors…. because they are no longer regarded as “volunteers”.

The money would come from the Penarth Town Precept element of the Council Tax paid by local residents.

Under the new Remuneration Panel proposals all Penarth councillors will receive a £150 pa allowance , 5 councillors will receive £500 a year and the Leader Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) could receive up to £1,500 a year . The Mayor  – who is elected by councillors annually for a 1 year term – -already receives a civic expense allowance which is not affected by the new proposals

Up until now, councillors elected to Penarth Town Council have not been paid a salary of any kind . They stand for election in the full knowledge that – if elected – they are expected to carry out their not-very-demanding-roles without payment of any kind from the public purse.

In times gone by, being elected to Penarth Council was regarded as an honour and a privilege. Councillors were regarded as performing a public service for the public good without any thought of remuneration or payment. But now – in a historic and highly controversial proposal –  the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales is casting aside this long tradition of hitherto selfless public service .

The panel says it is “of the view that Community and Town Councillors are not
volunteers because further to the democratic process they have accepted formal responsibilities and they all face some degree of liability, in respect of the Council functions they are running.”

Because Penarth Town Council is rated as an “A” category council (based on its annual expenditure and the level of income from the Penarth Precept) the panel is authorising it to pay what amounts to ‘salaries’ for most of its members

  • Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) Leader of Penarth Town Council chairs all but two of its committees

    The Leader of Penarth Town Council – (Cllr Mike Cuddy Labour St Augustines) was in receipt of £500 p.a. This can now be increased to up to £1,500 p.a. and is called a “Civic Leader’s” salary.

  • The Deputy Mayor (Cllr Jon Luxton Labour Stanwell)  can be paid up
    to a maximum amount of £500 p.a.  to undertake the functions of that office.
  • Penarth Town Council  “must”  now make an annual payment of £500 a year to a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 5 councillors in recognition of “specific responsibilities”. [ These responsibilities would normally be the chairmanship of various committees and might therefore include Cllr Nigel Humphrey (Labour St Augustines) Planning Committee, and Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Labour Cornerswell) Venues, Facilities and Events Committee . All the other committees are chaired by Cllr Cuddy himself] .
  • All Penarth Town Councillors  ( including the “senior councillors” now to be paid  £500 a year ) can also charge £150 a year  for “costs and expenses“.

TRAVEL EXPENSES:-  All Penarth Town Councillors will be able to charge travel expenses according to the following scale:-

  • 45p per mile up to 10,000 miles in the year.
  • 25p per mile over 10,000 miles.
  • 5p per mile per passenger carried on authority business.
  • 24p per mile for private motor cycles.
  • 20p per mile for bicycles. [There is no reimbursement proposed for walking to the venue of a council engagement – an omission which might be seen by some as discrimination in favour of the vociferous left-wing cycling lobby] 
  • Councillors using public transport they can reclaim the actual costs incurred.

CHILD-CARE AND PERSONAL ASSISTANCE:  

All Penarth councillors can charge up to £403 per month for “child-care provided by formal and informal carers” and for personal assistance if they require it.

The Independent Remuneration Panel says in its report that requires all Town Councils to “publish details of all payments made to individual members in an annual Statement of Payments. This information must be published on council noticeboards and/or websites (with easy access) and provided to the Panel by email or by post no later than 30 September following the end of the year to which the payments relate.” 

The Remuneration Panel reports that “a significant number of councils are in breach of this requirement”.

The Labour-run Penarth Town Council is amongst the town councils which is in breach of these rules.

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Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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10 Responses to KA-CHING!! ….CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY FOR PENARTH TOWN COUNCILLORS

  1. John64 says:

    Buy 16 bikes – 1 for each councillor. Winners all round, allowances kept down and for once the councillors can listen to the feelings of many in Penarth – ON YOUR BIKE!

  2. Chris David says:

    Fair enough (except for child care and… “personal assistance” !) but if they are getting paid they should run the town- not the VoG. Can’t see the point of PTC when they are toothless. Barry, Goldsworthy and Phil E Stine run Penarth- unfortunately.

  3. Peter Church says:

    Isn’t it very lucky that the Penarth Precept contains so many areas that are Band F and above!
    This goes a long way to helping finance long standing Labour Councillors who represent their Labour heart lands of Band D and below.

  4. cogan nomen says:

    Effing Penarff !

  5. Forty two says:

    What is this “Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales” and how independent is it? I suppose it is the same type of body that gave 11% rise to MPs when ordinary workers were capped at 1% or the ones which give vast increases to CEOs on the basis that other CEOs get more ( Companies where the member of the Remuneration Committee may also be on the board). A case of I scratch your back and you scratch mine.
    Anyway if people were willing to give some of their time to serving the public for free up to now, why change? Many people are volunteers and do a lot more than councilors who have the prestige of the job anyway!

    • Kevin Mahoney says:

      Vale councillors were canvassed for their views by this body several months ago in group hearings at the civic offices.

      I attended one of the sessions which comprised of myself and one conservative councillor from Dinas and three members of the ‘Independent renumeration panel for Wales’

      We were both quite vehement that there should be no increase of any description for county councillors during the full 5 year term of this council duration, I firmly believe that councillors know the deal when standing for election and should accept no rises during any full term after they are elected and was pleasantly surprised to be firmly backed up by the other councillor present.

      My impression was ( perhaps wrongly to be fair ) that the members of the renumeration panel couldn’t really get their heads round two councillors arguing strongly against any increase or improvement in pay and conditions whatsoever.

      I’ve no idea what happened in the other sessions that other councillors on the Vale of Glamorgan attended.

      • NewsNet says:

        The item run today was purely about the new deal for town councillors. As you know the Vale of Glamorgan Council cabinet will discuss the latest Remuneration Panel proposals for its members this week – but only a modest rise for ordinary Vale members is proposed and there would be no increase for senior members of the Vale Council.

  6. Zapper says:

    Wow…they get paid for a “no comment” from now on! Seemed a waste of time when they weren’t getting paid…..if they volunteered 2 do the job for free maybe a charity donation to Ty Hafan is in order…..?

  7. Chris David says:

    As I understand it the remuneration panel is briefed by WG and is not independent. It does what WG says as per the terms of reference.

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