Town Councillors agree attendance scheme

By newtown.wales

6 months ago

News Politics

Town Councillors have agreed an attendance allowance scheme which could see them scooping up to £1,230 extra per year.

At the the June meeting of Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council, town councillors discussed the details around an attendance allowance - a newly introduced scheme across Wales.

Town councillors voted to introduce an attendance allowance for town councillors to claim for attendance to full council and committee meetings, at £30 per meeting per councillor.

The full council meets approximately 11 times per year, and councillors can also be members of up to three committees, which meet approximately 10 times per year, which would result in an increased allowance for councillors of an additional £1,230 per year. This is on top of the town councillors yearly allowance which is set by law at £150.

The reason for the introduction of the attendance allowance was described as "to ensure that financial circumstances should not prevent participation or be a disincentive to being able to participate in the local democractic process."

Individual town councillors can opt out of the scheme in part of all of the payments by writing to the town council's chief officer.

Ed Humphreys, Town Clerk, said

“With recent elections, remaining vacancies, and forthcoming co-options in mind, it’s sometimes forgotten that Town Councillors volunteer their time and effort.  This can be quite a commitment.

The Independent Panel which sets remunerations across a range of public bodies makes it absolutely clear that participation in local democracy ought not to be the preserve of only those who can do it nor exclude those who cannot.  The Town Council by making this commitment to the community on attendance allowance has shown that it understands and supports that basic principle for all.  

The decision also underlines he Welsh Government’s commitment to increasing diversity in democracy, including tackling the barriers which prevent individuals’ active participation in local democracy.  There are probably other barriers, but this commitment to the community helps remove some of the financial ones.”      

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