Councillor Bryan Davies, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Democratic Services, Policy, Performance and People and Organisation presented the report to Council noting that the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales Annual Report was issued in February 2023 and considered by the Democratic Services committee at its meeting on 24 March 2023.
He provided an outline of the remunerations, emphasising that adequate remuneration was required in order to attract a wide representation of people, reminding members of the support available for cost of care, and the counselling service available.
Councillor Elizabeth Evans, Chair of the Democratic Services Committee noted that the Committee had considered the report at its meeting dated 24 March 2023 and resolved to recommend to Council to approve the content of the report. She noted her disappointment however that the Independent Remuneration Panel had failed to recognise that councillors work more than the equivalent of 3 days a week, and that a need to attract a more diverse membership needs to be encouraged.
Members asked about the option to opt out of the taking the increase in salary, and it was confirmed that they would need to submit a written request to the Corporate Lead Officer, Democratic Services.
Councillor Bryan Davies noted that the number of Councillors had reduced from 42 to 38, which was causing problems in terms of appointing members to committees and placing more pressure on Members in terms of time, and additional responsibilities, in addition to their roles on external bodies.
Councillor Gareth Davies noted that in terms of the Council’s budget, Members’ salaries accounts for less than 0.5% of the overall budget.
The Council RESOLVED to note the following:
1. The payment of Basic and Senior Salaries as prescribed by the Independent Remuneration Panel, as set out in Schedule 1 of Appendix A;
2. The payment of Civic Salaries payable to the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Council, as set out in Schedule 1 of Appendix A;
3. Schedule of other payments as set out in Schedule 1;
Following a vote the Council RESOLVED to approve the following:
1. To continue the current practice of not making payments for travelling expenses whilst undertaking constituency duties;
2. To approve that travelling, subsistence, overnight accommodation and car parking allowances continue at the same levels as 2022/23 for 2023/24;
3. To continue with the opt-in monthly allowance scheme of a maximum of £10 to cover telephone, broadband and postage costs;
4. To reflect the payment of this allowance in the annual Statement of Payments made to Members;
5. Co-opted Members to be paid fees subject to a maximum equivalent to 10 full days for each committee to which an individual has been co-opted, based on a half day or full day payment;
6. To continue to publish the total amount reimbursed by the authority during the year but not attributed to any named Member in respect of the reimbursement of care;
7. The 2023/2024 Schedule of Member Remuneration, subject to incorporating any amendments determined by the Council at this meeting; and
8. To authorise the Corporate Lead Officer: Democratic Services to incorporate any such amendments prior to publication after the Annual Meeting to be held 19th May 2023.