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Frequently asked questions about the work of the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales.

Are the determinations set by the panel mandatory?

The panel determines the rate of pay but individual councillors retain the choice to forego all or part of their individual entitlement. Authorities cannot vary the amounts payable or delay implementation of the panel’s determinations.

Compliance requirements in the annual report expect relevant authorities to annually publish sums paid to each member and co-opted member in respect of salary (basic, senior, civic), allowances, fees and reimbursements. 

See the annexes of the latest annual report for details. 

Does a community/town council have to pay its members?

The panel examined a range of measures they could use as the basis for any groupings and it considers that 3 groups based on the level of income or expenditure, whichever is the highest, in the previous financial year, is most appropriate. Using income or expenditure figures better reflects the activity levels of a council than population ratios which the Panel found did not correlate to income or expenditure. It is also easy for councils to understand which group they belong to.

Determinations regarding community and town councils are mandatory for councillors in groups A, B and C. 

Each community and town council is permitted to make a payment to its members up to a maximum amount of £150 per year for costs incurred in respect of telephone usage, information technology, consumables etc. 

All community and town councils must make available a payment to each of their members of £150 per year as a contribution to costs and expenses.

Is a member entitled to forego all or part of their salary?

An individual member is entitled to forego all or part or their basic/senior salary under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011, but to do so must inform the Proper Officer of the Council in writing.

What can co-opted members claim for?

Local authorities must pay co-opted members with voting rights a daily or half daily fee. Meetings eligible for the payment of a fee include committees, working groups, pre-meetings with officers, training, and attendance at conferences and any formal meeting at which co-opted members are requested to attend.

Reasonable preparation time for meetings and travelling time to and from meetings are also eligible to be included in claims by co-opted members.

Local authorities can decide on the maximum number of days for which co-opted members may be paid in any one year.

Where can I find the Independent Remuneration Panel regulations?

The Independent Remuneration Panel regulations can be found in the annex section of the latest published annual report.

Where a mileage allowance is claimed does it have to be paid at the specified rates?

Mileage allowances, if claimed, must be paid at the specified HMRC rate.

Can a member claim mileage when they have been a passenger in a car driven by another person?

Authorities should pay mileage at the prescribed rates to a member, when undertaking official business, who has been a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone else, provided the authority is satisfied that a cost has been occurred by the member.

Are all members entitled to claim care allowance?

All authorities must provide for the reimbursement of necessary expenses for the care of dependent children and adults and personal care needs up to the current maximum of £403 per month, subject to the production of receipts.

Where can I find an interpretation of the terminology used in the panel’s annual report?

Annex 2 of the panel’s report is a glossary of the terminology used by the panel.