The Mayor of Wrexham and all Councillors are due to get a pay rise this year, against the backdrop of Council cuts in the area.
In a report due to be approved by the Executive Board next week the full range of pay rises are laid out:
- The Council Leader will see their pay increase from £47,500 to £48,000
- The Council Deputy Leader will see an increase from £33,460 to £35,000
- Those on the Executive Board will get a pay increase from £28,780 to £29,000.
- Those who are Chairs of Committees see their pay increase from £21,375 to £22,000
- The Mayor will see their pay go from £21,500 to £21,375.
Councillors themselves will see their pay increase by a further £175 to £13,300 a year.
However the Deputy Mayor is the only figure who faces a pay cut, from £16,625 to £16,000.
On top of the pay, members of the Council also get free parking during the week, iPads or similar devices plus expenses (detailed here on the Council’s website).
The usual hand wringing has started, with the process meaning rates are set by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales. We are told legally Wrexham Council are obliged to follow such recommendations, however no one has been able to explain what would happen if the Executive Board voted to reject the recommendations and if the world would end.
The timing of this report is one that clashes with the ongoing cuts in Wrexham and at a time where some of Wrexham’s services are under threat.
Speaking to Wrexham.com earlier in the week at a media brief Cllr Malcolm King said: “On a personal level I am pleased they have set the increase very low in these difficult times.
“I find increase in these economical times offensive.
“I am sure there will be Councillors who do not want the increase and will donate it back. However the law does say they have to be paid.”
Council Leader Neil Rogers said: “Labour took the decision before the election to donate the money to charity, there are eight organisations in Wrexham the money goes to. We will continue to do it and support Wrexham based charities.”
We are aware anecdotally that some Councillors have been saying they did not take the pay rise last year, and others saying they donated it to charity. Wrexham Council have maintained that they have no record of refusal of pay, and that Councillors have to be paid by law.
As a result of this, we have sent an email out to all 52 Councillors in Wrexham to ask if they will be taking the increase in pay, or if they plan on donating it elsewhere, likewise querying what they did last year and if, like some, they are able to show receipts for any donations.
In a very general performance indicator you can see how many meetings your (and other) Councillors were due at, how many they attended, and how many other meetings they also attended via this page on the Council’s website.
You can read the full report here on the Council’s website.