The so-called “Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales” – which sets the salaries and expenses of councillors – has issued its draft proposals for the levels of payments for 2019 .
All 16 Penarth town councillors will receive a flat-rate annual payment in respect of their expenses of £150 each (the same as in this year) and will not be required to produce any receipts to prove how they actually incurred the expenditure.
On top of expenses, councillors will also receive “reimbursement of cost of care” . This is for the “necessary costs for the care of dependent children and adults (provided by informal or formal carers)” and for “personal assistance needs” up to a maximum of £403 per month. (£4,836 per year).
The Panel warns against any councillor trying to put pressure on other councillors not to accept the payments. It says ” It is inappropriate for councils or councillors to create a climate, or otherwise pressurise others, in order to prevent persons accessing any monies to which they are entitled that may support them to participate in local democracy.”
Penarth Town Council is to pay £500 a year salaries to up to 5 councillors occupying “senior roles” (such as chairs of committees)
On top of the £150 a year payment – and the £500 senior councillor payment – there will be an increase in “compensation for financial loss” – paid to councillors who “suffer financial loss when attending approved duties”.
Travelling expenses allowable are to be :-
- 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.
The Mayor of Penarth can now be paid up to a maximum of £1,500 to cover expenditure in his/her year of office.
The Deputy Mayor of Penarth can be paid up to a maximum, of £500 in his/her year of office .
Penarth Town Council has a legal obligation to publish on notice boards all payments made to individual councillors in an annual Statement of Payments for each financial year (see above).
The Independent Remuneration Panel says the councillors don’t need to “opt-in” to get their hands on the cash (which comes from the Penarth Town Precept – charged to all local residents) . The Remuneration Panel; says “Members should receive monies to which they are properly entitled as a matter of course. There must be no requirement for individuals to ‘opt in’ to receive payments.”
However the panel does state that “An individual may decline to receive part, or all, of the payments if they so wish. This must be done in writing and is an individual matter.”