Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council have until April 20th (next Friday) to decide whether or not to accept the £200 pounds a year pay-rise which has been offered to them (and to members of all other major councils in Wales) by the Independent Remuneration Panel of Wales (IRPW).
The Remuneration Panel is supposed to operate at arm’s length from the Welsh Labour Government – but the panel has already considerably increased the salaries of Welsh Assembly members and has increased the pay of the Welsh Labour Government’s ministers.
In the case of local councils the Remuneration Panel just sets the rates: the cash still comes from council-tax payers.
If the Vale councillors do choose to accept the new pay rise, – and it’s an individual decision for each councillor – members taking the increase will receive a new basic salary of £13,500 a year for the 2018/19 municipal year
All Vale of Glamorgan councillors have been informed of the Remuneration Panel’s so-called “determination” [ i.e. decision to offer the pay increase] and have been asked to indicate by 20th April, 2018 whether they wish to forego any, or all, of the increase.
If all the Vale councillors decide to accept the increase (and some have already said they won’t) the extra cost to council taxpayers would be a total of £9,400.
PENARTH TOWN COUNCIL
The Remuneration Panel also decided to allow Penarth Town Council to pay councillors an annual “allowance” for the first time – thus breaking a historic tradition of unpaid public service stretching back to the year 1875 .
Until this year Penarth councillors considered it an honour and a public duty to serve the community without any thought of personal monetary reward .
Only one town councillor – Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) – has said he will not accept the new Penarth Town Council “allowance” . Cllr Wilson is a “twin-hatted” councillor who is also a salaried member of the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
Under the Remuneration Panel proposals, all 16 Penarth Town councillors can be paid a £150 per annum “allowance”. All the money would come from local residents who pay the “Penarth precept” which is added to their council tax .
This year the incumbent Labour-controlled Penarth Town Council hiked the Penarth precept by 7% (payable as from this month) to an all-time record high but was unable to present any convincing reasons for imposing such an increase.
The Remuneration Panel also authorised Penarth Town Council to pay an allowance of £500 a year to each of 5 people who are deemed to be “senior councillors”.
The Council Leader Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) can now be paid up to £1,500 a year .