|On 23rd May 2022 Council received the Annual Report (2022-23) of the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW). One of the fundamental aspects of the Determinations in the report, is that financial circumstances should not prevent participation by, or be a disincentive to people being able to participate, in local democratic processes. |
Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Councillors, though elected, volunteer a significant amount of time and effort to their work within the Council. During recent Full Council meetings, Councillors resolved to implement IRPW’s Determination 49 for Attendance Allowance. The allowance, which was agreed at £30 per meeting, will be awarded for attendance of Councillors to Full Council and all Committee meetings. Councillors will have the option to decline to receive part, or all any financial remuneration should they wish. The introduction of the allowance is intended to help enable inclusion in local democracy, by removing financial barriers to those who are interested in becoming a councillor.
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 but also have obligations of being elected to office. This can be quite a commitment to the community.
The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales which sets remunerations across a range of public bodies makes it absolutely clear that participation in local democracy is not the preserve of only those who can afford do it nor should it 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 Town Council’s decision underlines the Welsh Government’s commitment to increasing diversity in democracy, including tackling the barriers which might 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.”