COUNCILLORS in Carmarthenshire will be paid an extra £150 from April 1, taking their basic salary to £14,368.
The increase of 1.06% has been set by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) following a consultation.
An IRPW report before Carmarthenshire’s democratic services committee said councillors’ basic salary in Wales had risen by 7.9% between 2013 and 2020.
This is a significantly lower rise than that of MPs, whose pay has gone up 23.4% – from £66,396 to £81,932 – during the same period.
Members of the Senedd, meanwhile, have seen their pay increase even more – by 25.6% – from £53,852 to £67,649.
The IRPW has also decided to remove a long-standing cap on care costs which can be claimed by councillors of £403 per month.
Care costs allow a councillor who needs to attend meetings or carry out other duties to claim childcare expenses or costs of looking after an adult who normally lives with the councillor and who cannot be left unsupervised.
The £403 cap will be replaced by new arrangements which allow a councillor to seek full costs of care for formal carers, and up to a maximum rate equivalent to the Living Wage for informal carers.
The IRPW’s recommendations apply to all Welsh councils, and were waved through democratic services committee without debate.
The IRPW said in its report that it felt councillors were undervalued, and that the basic salary reflected three days a week of work carrying out council business.
“The position generally expressed by councillors and officers remains that the basic workload discharged by all elected members is substantial and exceeds three days per week,” it said.
“Any time commitment beyond three days is an unpaid public service contribution.”
The report added: “It is therefore a matter of balancing issues of affordability and public perception with fairness to members for their time, worth and responsibility.”
Senior councillor salaries will also rise by 1.06% from April 1, meaning council leader Emlyn Dole’s salary will be £49,974 and deputy leader Mair Stephens’s will be £35,320.
The remaining executive board members of the Plaid Cymru-Independent administration will be paid £30,773, while leader of the opposition, Labour councillor Rob James, will receive £23,161.
Councillors can decline all or part of their salary.
Carmarthenshire has 74 councillors, of which 18 are entitled to senior salaries.
The IRPW report added: “The level of payment should not act as a barrier to taking up or continuing in post.”