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Pay rise debate branded a waste of time as Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales ‘ignore’ feedback

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, Mar 15th, 2019.

Exasperated councillors say they have all but given up trying to tell the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) that they feel pay rises for councillors are inappropriate in the current financial climate.

In a brief agenda item members of the council’s Democratic Services committee were told they were being presented with a report to ‘note’ that contained the £268 pay rises for all councillors, with some seeing that go up to £800 extra if they are on the Executive Board.

The officer told councillors that the report will go to full council and ‘be confirmed there’.

Cllr Derek Wright was highly critical of the IRPW, stating: “They completely ignored what we suggested as the committee. Most of the time we have recommended no increases and they just ignore us.

“Is it even worth discussing this in future years? Is it worth wasting their time and ours?”

The council officer pointed out that part of the process meant a ‘consultation’ had to take place, interrupted by Cllr Wright pointing out ‘they ignore it!’

Cllr King told the committee that he and and officer had met with the IRPW and there had been ‘similar feedback from all north wales councils’.

Cllr King added that a ‘well reasoned case for why it has gone up’ was given by the IRPW, although he did not agree with it.

Cllr Harper appeared equally frustrated by the IRPW, and looked to make progress in the meeting without re-running the long stated opinions from various members on the pay rise debate: “There is no point in re-inventing the wheel. We should note the report, but add that we reiterate the list of concerns we have previously raised and that none of them have changed”.

Cllr Wright seconded the amended recommendations, which passed unanimously.

You can read the more meaty debate here from back in November when the proposals were first suggested, and have come to fruition unchanged.

Wrexham.com readers will be aware when we interacted with the equivalent of an Executive Board member over in Flintshire we got blocked on twitter and were subject to personal incorrect statements made against us basically for asking a question.

The episode triggered an extra highlighting of the pay award up the road, cumulating in a council meeting there having an actual vote on the pay report itself, something that has always been denied as being possible here in Wrexham.

Deeside.com documented the proceedings, that ended up with an ‘advisory vote’ being held (and lost) opening the door for such votes to take place across Wales.

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