COUNCILLORS are set to get a 4.67 per cent pay rise from next March - taking the basic salary of all members to £17,600 - following a recommendation in a draft report from the Independent Remuneration Panel of Wales (IRPW).

The basic pay of a county councillor in Powys, Ceredigion and Gwynedd would rise by £800 a year from £16,800 to £17,600 from March 2023 under the new recommendations.

The pay increase follows a 17 per cent hike in salary for all councillors last year.

The recommendations also include pay boosts for council leaders and cabinet members.

In Powys, the leader of the council will get £59,400 while deputy leaders pay will rise to £41,580 with cabinet members taking home £35,640.

The massive 17 per cent pay hike last year - in place following May’s local elections - was made, the IRPW said, “to reset the basic salaries of elected members to align with the average earnings in Wales.”

The IRPW said that the latest pay rise recommendation will “retain a link between the basic salary of councillors and the average salaries of their constituents.”

“The Panel has a duty to set payments that are fair and that encourage and enable democratic participation,” a report said.

“It must also take account of affordability and acceptability.

“In making its determinations for this Draft Report, the Panel considered a range of benchmarks, including past, current and projected indices and actual figures and the known and forecast extent and impact of multiple economic and social factors.

“These included post Brexit and COVID work environments and the cost of living, energy and climate crises.”

The recommendations also say that town and community councils “must pay their members £156 a year - equivalent to £3 a week - towards the extra household expenses (including heating, lighting, power and broadband) of working from home”.

Town and community councils also “must either pay their members £52 a year for the cost of office consumables required to carry out their role, or must enable members to claim full reimbursement for the cost of their office consumables.”

The IRPW draft report is set to be consulted on and will be discussed by county councils this month before authorities must respond to the recommendations by 1 December.

The IRPW will make its final recommendations following the consultation.