Some top councillors here in Wales will be paid more and others will get a pay cut under new pay rules set for them by an independent panel.
The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales has used new powers to tell local authorities what they must pay councillors. Previously it had only set maximum amounts.
It says all councillors should be paid a basic annual allowance of £13,175. Last year it said members could receive up to £13,808.
The leaders of the three biggest authorities (Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea) will next year be paid £52,700. This year they could have been paid up to £57,725.
Deputy leaders in those authorities will get £37,100 while other executive members will be paid £31,900.
In the second grouping of councils (Bridgend, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Conwy, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Vale of Glamorgan, Wrexham), the panel says leaders should be paid £47,500. This year they could have been paid up to a maximum of £51,947.
Leaders of the smallest authorities (Blaenau Gwent, Ceredigion, Denbighshire, Isle of Anglesey,Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Torfaen) will be paid £42,300. This year they could have been paid up to 46,168.
You can read the full report and see all the pay and allowances here.
The panel’s chair, Richard Penn, acknowledges that these new rules will mean some authorities will have to spend more on paying their councillors:
We recognise that in the short term our approach of prescribing payments could result in annual savings for some local authorities and additional costs for others. However, we are making this change in response to the view consistently expressed to us by councillors across Wales that the setting of allowances should be taken out of the out of the political arena and thereby avoid a “race to the bottom.”
According to the Welsh Local Government Association, 10 of our 22 authorities will have to pay their members less than they do now.
But two examples show just how significant those changes could be.
Rhondda Cynon Taff’s leader is getting the maximum £57,725 this year but will see that amount cut to £52,700 next year.
Gwynedd is paying its Chairman of the Board (equivalent of leader) £30,255 this year. Next year that will have to be £47,500.