SALARY rises for councillors of £350 have been formally noted at a meeting in Swansea.

The basic salary for all 72 councillors is £14,218.

The pay rises were determined by an independent panel and came into force on April 1 this year.

They were noted at a full council meeting on October 1 in a discussion about the council’s constitution.

The leader of the council, Labour councillor Rob Stewart, is paid £54,450 while the deputy leader’s salary is £38,450. The remaining cabinet members are paid £33,450.

Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Holley earns £22,918 as leader of the largest opposition group – the same salary as the Lord Mayor of Swansea and committee chairs – while Cllr Lyndon Jones, of the Conservatives, is on £17,918 a year as leader of the second largest opposition group.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Holley said:

“There was always criticism when we used to vote on our own pay increases.”

He said there were concerns back then about what pay rises were linked to. That has changed in recent years with the role of the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales.

Cllr Holley used to be the leader of the council and stressed it was very much a full-time position.

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“When I say full-time, I say seven days a week – you don’t get a break,” he said.

Cllr Holley said he didn’t agree with Cllr Stewart on a number of things but said he would not criticise his commitment to the job as the leader.

“I don’t think people should knock him for that,” he said.

At the meeting councillors also retrospectively approved the 2020-21 pay policy for officers, which saw the wage for grade one staff rise £478 to £17,842.

At the other end of the scale, the salary of the chief executive, Phil Roberts, is on a fixed point of £152,671. His deputy, Adam Hill, earns £120,526.

Two new heads of service are being created to deal with the financial implications of the coronavirus crisis.

A report before the council said both heads of service will manage “very substantial areas of activity” on behalf of Ben Smith, the chief finance officer.

Chief executive Mr Roberts said he was was “completely comfortable” with the proposed heads of service roles.

“I fully support them – and thanks to Ben, personally, from me, for the work he has done,” he said.

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