Issue - meetings

Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) Draft Annual Report for 2019/20

Meeting: 20/11/2018 - Flintshire County Council (Item 64)

64 Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) Draft Annual Report for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

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(a)       That in view  of the current financial circumstances the Council considered that the proposed increases in basic salary in 2019/20 for elected members and senior salary levels, made by the IRPW, was not justifiable; and


(b)       That the Chief Officer (Governance) responds to the IRPW on behalf of the Council to advise of the decision made at the meeting. 


The Chief Officer (Governance) introduced the report to enable the Council to consider and comment on the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) Draft Annual Report for 2019/20.  He provided background information and explained  that the Panel’s determinations for 2019/20 were detailed in the appendix to the report. 


The Chief Officer referred to the key considerations, as detailed in the report, and advised that “to avoid further erosion in relation to average earning” the Panel proposed that  the basic salary for Councillors be increased to £13,868 (an increase of 1.97%)  which equated to £268.  The Panel also determined that “the salaries of leaders and members of the executive had not been increased for several years (except for the increase in basic element) and considered that the holders of these posts had significant functional responsibility and compared to the remuneration of many other public sector roles were not well paid”.  The IRPW proposed an increase of £800 for each (which was inclusive of the £268 increase in basic salary).


The Chief Officer continued that the IRPW also proposed some changes to the payment rates for salaries to civic heads and deputies (which are paid to the Chair and Vice-Chair of Council).  These were previously on a variable scale, however, the IRPW had removed the ‘choice’ element and determined that a civic head must now receive a civic salary of £22,568 (the same as that proposed for Committee chairs and a £500 increase on the current payment level plus the £268 increase in basic salary).  The deputy civic head must receive a Band 5 salary of £17,568 which is an increase of £1000).  Although a Council may decide not to apply any civic salary to either of these two posts.


The Chief Officer referred to determinations 6 and 7 in the IRPW draft report which related to the provision of adequate support to be given, through each authority’s  Democratic Services Committee, to enable elected members to fulfil their duties effectively, and cited the provision of telephone, email and internet facilities giving access to appropriate information without cost to the individual member.  The Chief Officer commented on the IRPW principle that standing for elected office should not be dependent on an individual’s financial means and Members should not be left ‘out of pocket’ as a result of the expenses necessary to undertake public duties.


Councillor Aaron Shotton referred to determinations 1 and 2 in the draft IRPW report and the recommended increases in basic salary and senior salary levels for elected members.  He spoke of the national funding issue and ongoing austerity and said he did not consider the recommended increases in salaries could be justified or were appropriate at the current time.  Councillor Shotton proposed that in its response to the IRPW the Council rejected the proposals to increase the basic salary and the senior salary levels for elected members as outlined in determinations 1 and 2 of the draft IRPW report.


Councillor Patrick Heesom spoke in support of the proposal by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64