COUNCILLORS have voted to axe a senior salary allowance worth just under £8,800 for the role of chairing an influential Powys County Council committee.

At a council meeting on Thursday, March 2, the salary was debated as part of a shake-up of committees.

The role of employment committee chairman receives an extra £8,793 on top of the basic £16,800 councillor’s salary.

Conservative councillor Lucy Roberts is the current chairwoman of the committee.

She declared an interest and did not take part in the meeting while the issue was being debated.

Head of legal and democratic services, Clive Pinney explained that the role had changed and the committee is “no longer” involved in the appeals process for council job dismissals.

He advised councillors that the democratic services committee had recommended that the role continues to receive the extra payment.

Labour’s Cllr David Meredith recalled that when the role was discussed 10 to 15 years ago he had said that it could only be “justified” if the chairman chaired appeals meetings.

Cllr Meredith said: “It was awarded specifically because of that and it’s no longer the case.

“I don’t think the remit now justifies a senior salary for the number of meetings that take place.”

Conservative group leader, Cllr Aled Davies said: “I have to disagree with Cllr Meredith, there’s a huge workload when appointing senior officers and making sure this committee is run properly and effectively.

“In my experience, Cllr Roberts is really effective and deserves a senior salary for this post.”

Cabinet member for a connected Powys, Liberal Democrat, Cllr Jake Berriman said: “I just want to depersonalise this, it’s not about the effectiveness of the chair, this is about the role and responsibilities.”

Liberal Democrat, Cllr Angela Davies asked for “more explanation” of the role and workload.

Mr Pinney said: “It has changed because there was a significant role in considering all employment appeals.

“That has gone and because of that diminution of the role, it was thought appropriated that that it be reviewed.

“There is a definite reduction in the role.”

Councillors went on to a vote and 21 councillors voted in favour of the recommendation to keep the senior salary while 31 voted against and seven councillors abstained.

This means that the recommendation to keep the salary was lost.