COUNTY councillors throughout Wales are in line for a 6% pay rise next year, taking their annual basic salary from £17,600 to £18,666.
Councils have until December 8 to comment on the draft salary proposals put forward by the Independent Remuneration Panel of Wales (IRPW), which sets councillors’ pay and publishes its final recommendations for 2024-25 in February.
Councillors’ basic salaries are based on a three-day working week, and the IRPW said the proposed 6% rise aligned with a survey of earnings published regularly by the Office for National Statistics.
Members of Carmarthenshire Council’s democratic services committee were given a run-down on the IRPW’s draft recommendations at a meeting on December 5, but no-one asked any questions about it. One councillor, Tyssul Evans, said he thought the mileage allowance had remained at 27p per mile despite fuel cost rising significantly in recent years.
“It’s just a comment,” he said. Cllr Evans said it didn’t impact him but did impact councillors who were dependent on travelling to County Hall, Carmarthen, to attend meetings. Council meetings tend to be hybrid – both in person at County Hall and also online.
The salary for leaders of the largest three councils – Swansea, Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taf – are set to increase from £66,000 to £69,998 in 2024-25. The leaders of the next largest councils, including Carmarthenshire, would earn £62,998 – up from £59,400 – while the leaders of the third and final band of councils would receive £59,498, up from £56,100.
The IRPW said it aimed to ensure that levels of remuneration were fair, reasonable, and represented value for the taxpayer.
Its report said that while the total cost of remuneration for councillors was relatively low in terms of overall budgets, it was mindful of the heightened economic strain on local authorities.
It said: “In reaching our decision to continue the link between elected members remuneration and the average earnings of their constituents, the Panel remain of the view that a fair and reasonable remuneration package will continue to support elected members and not act as a barrier to participation.”