COUNCILLORS in Wrexham could be in line for a £350 annual pay rise based on the recommendations of an independent body.

The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales has published its draft proposals for the next financial year.

It shows councillors are set to receive a 2.5 per cent increase in their basic salary to £14,218 from April 2020.

It is estimated the pay boost will cost Wrexham Council an extra £18,200 if it goes ahead.

However, no additional rise is proposed for those in senior positions because of the uplift they received in last year’s report.

Despite opposition to previous increases, members of the panel said councillors across Wales deserved to be paid an amount which reflects their responsibilities.

In the panel’s draft annual report, they said: “The panel has consistently expressed its view that maintaining the democratic values of local governance cannot be cost free.

“Members of local authorities are there to represent the interests of local people, undertake the governance of local communities, and secure appropriate value for money public services for local tax-payers through effective scrutiny for which they are accountable to their community.

“These are significant and important tasks for members of the relevant authorities within the panel’s remit.

“In determining the level of payments to members of local councils, the panel seeks to meet the principle of acceptability by ensuring that these are not so great as to require a significant diversion of resources from key council priorities.”

They added: “The panel acknowledges that the issue of affordability – in relation both to relevant authorities’ service budgets and to the electorate’s disposable incomes – is likely to impact on the public perception of any increases to members’ payments.

“It is therefore a matter of balancing issues of affordability and public perception with fairness to members for their time, worth and responsibility.”

Wrexham Council’s democratic services committee is set to run the rule over the recommendations at a meeting next Thursday (DEL 7 NOVEMBER 2019).

Members will be asked to provide their feedback for inclusion in the authority’s response to the consultation on the proposals.