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COUNCILLORS 'SHOULD GET£10,000 BASIC ALLOWANCE' SAYS REPORT

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An independent study of the role and remuneration of elected councillors in Wales has been welcomed by Welsh Assemb...
An independent study of the role and remuneration of elected councillors in Wales has been welcomed by Welsh Assembly minister for local government Edwina Hart as a 'thorough and extensive analysis'.
The minister commissioned the Institute of Local Government at Birmingham University to review members allowances. The Report is published today and will be presented to the assembly's local government committee on 18 July.
Mrs Hart said: 'I commissioned this review because I wanted to ensure that we were in a position to attract a broad cross section of people to seek election for membership of local authorities. I was also keen to ensure that we had a framework of allowances that was suited to the new modernised political structures which will be in place from next Spring.
She stressed that the report should be considered in its entirety as it represents a radical re-examination of the role and responsibilities of local councillors.
'To focus only on the recommended allowances would be misleading,' Mrs Hart said. 'The allowances and other recommendations must be considered in the context of the changing role of councillors in modern local government.
'This a high quality independent report and I propose to commend its recommendations. These are important recommendations which are intended to attract more people to stand for council. I will be working closely with the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) as well as the statutory equality bodies action to increase public awareness of the opportunity to stand for councils.
'In order to attract a new generation of councillors I will be discussing with the WLGA the recommendation for a severance scheme for long standing councillors who may be considering retirement. I will take steps to explore further the recommendation that a common pensions scheme should be developed to which councillors may choose to participate.
'I regard the recommendation of basic allowance of£9,907 for all councillors in Wales as a fair assessment. This allowance will include provision for computer, telephone and office costs.'
'The report recommends a wide range of special responsibility allowances. It is recommended that if the leader of an average-sized authority is working full time as a council leader then the allowance should be equivalent to the salary of an assembly member. There is a recommendation for limited variation according to the population of the local authority. I propose to recommend to local authorities that they adopt these figures as maximum rates.
'We need to take steps to ensure that there are councillors who can undertake the roles that are required in a democratic Wales. I believe that this report does show the way forward.'
Note
The full report, titled Recognising Councillors' Worth to their Communities is available hereFull details of the recommended allowances are included.
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