ALL of Wrexham’s 52 county councillors will be getting a pay rise.
The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales has awarded rises across the board for councillors, with the council leader, deputy leader, executive board members, committee chairmen and the Mayor all seeing an increase in their allowances from the start of next month.
Basic salary for all members will also be increasing.
The deputy Mayor’s overall take-home pay is the only one to see a drop – but the basic councillor allowance for the role will rise.
The news comes as the authority wrestles with cuts of £45 million needed over the next five years.
Councillors do not have the power to turn down the externally-set increases, though they do have the option of donating them to charity.
Cllr Malcolm King, lead member for policy, finance, performance and governance and member for Wynnstay, said he was uneasy about the decision to increase salaries.
He believed it would not sit well with people at a time where funding to departments and facilities across Wrexham Council are being cut.
He added: “I am pleased they have set the increase low at a time of difficulty for lots of people.
“The idea that people in positions of responsibility should be getting more – a lot of people find that very offensive – so thankfully the remuneration panel has been realistic.
“I am sure there will be councillors who still won’t want to take the raises. It is not right to take pay rises if other people are not [getting rises in wages].”
Cllr King said it would be possible for councillors to decline the pay rise, with the money going back into the budget but added it would be an individual decision.
Council leader Neil Rogers said Labour councillors took a decision before the 2012 election to donate money from pay rises to Wrexham charities.
He added: “There are eight organisations that will receive a substantial amount of money.
“We can’t get away from having to take this money, but we will continue to support Wrexham-based charities over the next 12 months.”
The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales has set the following pay awards for Wrexham Council members:
l Leader – increase from £47,500 to £48,000
l Deputy leader – increase from £33,460 to £35,000
l Executive board members – increase from £28,780 to £29,000
l Committee chairmen – increase from £21,375 to £22,000
l Councillors – increase from £13,175 to £13,300
l Mayor – increase from £21,375 to £21,500
l Deputy mayor – decrease from £16,625 to £16,000