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Powys councillors set for another bumper pay increase this year

POWYS County Councillors will receive a 5.71 per cent pay increase this year.

This equates to an extra £1066 and takes their basic pay up to £18,666.

At the council’s annual meeting on Thursday, May 16 councillors will receive a report on the basic pay and expenses that “must” be paid by the council.

The pay increases follow the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) agreeing the salary increases, expenses, and benefits for 2024/2025 when they met in February.

The IRPW’s decision coming into force for all of Wales’s local authorities on April 1.

Increases would also be made to the salary of the leader, deputy leader and cabinet members on top of the basic rise.

The roles of scrutiny committee chairmen, and leader of the opposition also get a rise of £533 this year going up from £8,800 to £9,333 which is paid on top of the basic salary.

The role of scrutiny committee vice-chairmen goes up to £4,667 which is up from £4,400, and is also paid on top of the basic salary.

This year the council is also allowed to pay one more senior salary – with the IRPW allowing a band B council such as Powys – to increases the number of senior salaries from 17 to 18 if they should wish to.

In Wales – local authorities are placed in three bands based on population figures.

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Band A – which pays more includes councils with a population of over 200,000 people.

Band B – which includes Powys is in the 100,000 to 200,000 population bracket.

Band C – which pays less, are those with a population of under 100,000 people.

IRPW chairwoman Frances Duffy said: “In reaching our decision to continue the link between the remuneration of elected members of principal councils, and the average earnings of their constituents (ASHE).

“The panel is fully aware of the current constraints on public funding and the impact its decisions will have on the budgets of principal authorities.

“The panel is also mindful of our aims and objectives to provide a fair and reasonable remuneration package to support elected members and to encourage diversity of representation.”

The council report states that councillors can choose to “forego” all or part of their basic salary and would need to notify the council’s chief finance and s151 officer (director of corporate services Jane Thomas)  about this.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Local Democracy Reporting Service shows that during 2022/2023 no councillors in Powys chose to forego part of their salary.

The response said that in 2021/2022 one councillor chose to forego £150 of their salary.

The increases in Powys are set to be:

Council leader salary will go up to £62,998 an increase from £59,400.

Deputy leader salary will go up to £44,099 an increase from £41,580.

Cabinet member salary will go up to £37,799 an increase from £35, 640.

Other roles with a senior salary – scrutiny committee chairmen, planning committee chairman, council chairman  and leader of the opposition can all now receive up to £27,999 an increase from £26,400.

The deputy civic leader, and leaders of other political groups (with no less than 10 per cent of council membership) and deputy committee chairmen can receive up to £22,406.

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