Gwent councillors claim total of £4.5 million in one year

FIVE of the top ten highest paid councillors in the year to May’s council elections were from Caerphilly county borough.

Figures released from each of the five Gwent councils show that almost £4.5 million was claimed by councillors in allowances and expenses across Gwent in a year running to last May’s elections.

The figure is around the same as in 2010/11, with several councils having frozen the allowances they pay their councillors. Some councillors in some authorities have chosen to take smaller allowances.

For the current 2012/13 new rules from the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales mean members are being paid set allowances, taking the decision for whether they go up or down out of the political arena.

Former councillor Allan Pritchard of Plaid Cymru and Caerphilly council leader was the biggest earner of all the region’s councillors.

Mr Pritchard took home £45,325.31, which included his special responsibility allowance of £32,295.11 on top of his basic salary of £13,030.20.

Cllr Peter Fox, Tory leader of Monmouthshire council, earned £44,597.02, more than former Tory Newport council leader Cllr Matthew Evans’ allowances of £43,983.45.

Cllr Bob Wellington, Labour leader of Torfaen council, earned £42,707.73.

In Monmouthshire a total of £55,972 was claimed in travel expenses in the rural county, with Cllr Fox claiming the most at £3,835.

That’s compared to £8,806 in Caerphilly, £5,407 in Torfaen, £3,919 in Blaenau Gwent and £280.35 in Newport.

The leader to earn the least was Cllr John Mason. He took over after Des Hillman resigned in October 2011, and earned £33,800.33.

Caerphilly – a relatively big council – had the largest allowances and expenses bill of the five local authorities at £1.2 million. Blaenau Gwent paid the least with £778,822 claimed – it is the smallest of the five councils.

In Newport £862,196 was claimed, while £819,965 and £803,399 was claimed in Monmouthshire and Torfaen respectively.

Councillors can claim a basic salary, which is around £13,000, while cabinet members and councillors who sit on committees can receive an additional allowance.

Members are also entitled to claim expenses for travel, care for dependant children and adults, food and overnight stays.

In some cases members had chosen to accept smaller allowances.

Top ten councillors and former councillors are:

  • Allan Pritchard, Caerphilly, £45,325.31
  • Peter Fox, Monmouthshire, £44,597.02
  • Matthew Evans, Newport, £43,983.45
  • Bob Wellington, Torfaen, £42,707.73
  • John Mason, Blaenau Gwent, £33,800.38
  • Colin Mann, Caerphilly, £32,644.50
  • Liz Hacket Pain, Monmouthshire, £32,420.56
  • Rob Gough, Caerphilly, £30,685.50
  • Ron Davies, Caerphilly, £30,677.85
  • Colin Hobbs, Caerphilly, £30,541.80

FULL LIST OF GWENT COUNCILLORS' EXPENSES 2012:

Comments (10)

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11:06am Mon 24 Sep 12

On the inside says...

And this is news why? It is all a matter of known fact. Almost all Cllrs get a weekly wage that is about the same as the minimum wage and certainly lower than local authority staff are paid. They then claim travel at the same rate as other staff. They also pay tax etc so these are certainly not take home figures.

Not paying councillors mean they all end up being retired or independently wealthy. Great for the Tories but not anyone else.

The focus should be on how well they do the job not this.
And this is news why? It is all a matter of known fact. Almost all Cllrs get a weekly wage that is about the same as the minimum wage and certainly lower than local authority staff are paid. They then claim travel at the same rate as other staff. They also pay tax etc so these are certainly not take home figures. Not paying councillors mean they all end up being retired or independently wealthy. Great for the Tories but not anyone else. The focus should be on how well they do the job not this. On the inside

11:23am Mon 24 Sep 12

county mad says...

On the inside of where? The Labour party perhaps as was they who set up this gravy train and we are paying dear for it
On the inside of where? The Labour party perhaps as was they who set up this gravy train and we are paying dear for it county mad

11:31am Mon 24 Sep 12

Mr Angry says...

county mad wrote:
On the inside of where? The Labour party perhaps as was they who set up this gravy train and we are paying dear for it
Being a Councillor is to all intents a full time job, do you think people should do it for nothing ? Would you ?
[quote][p][bold]county mad[/bold] wrote: On the inside of where? The Labour party perhaps as was they who set up this gravy train and we are paying dear for it[/p][/quote]Being a Councillor is to all intents a full time job, do you think people should do it for nothing ? Would you ? Mr Angry

1:05pm Mon 24 Sep 12

pinpong says...

I understand why councillors need to be paid but there are councillors out there who are working full time and using this as a second income.
Perhaps it is time for councillors to be paid properly so that being a councillor is their full time job.
Good to see that all councillors in Newport claimed the least for travelling expenses. Good on them for that.
I understand why councillors need to be paid but there are councillors out there who are working full time and using this as a second income. Perhaps it is time for councillors to be paid properly so that being a councillor is their full time job. Good to see that all councillors in Newport claimed the least for travelling expenses. Good on them for that. pinpong

1:17pm Mon 24 Sep 12

Mr Angry says...

Would you give up a full time job for one that only pays 13K a year ?
Would you give up a full time job for one that only pays 13K a year ? Mr Angry

1:31pm Mon 24 Sep 12

Mr Angry says...

Even if councillors were well paid would anyone give up a full time reasonably well paid secure job, for one in which they could be kicked out in four years time ?

Its a complex issue
Even if councillors were well paid would anyone give up a full time reasonably well paid secure job, for one in which they could be kicked out in four years time ? Its a complex issue Mr Angry

1:38pm Mon 24 Sep 12

pinpong says...

Your right. I suppose they would have to have the same terms as an MP or Am who get a golden goodbye when they lose.

And no. I would not give up my job. But i wouldnt want to be a councillor anyway i like my life just as it is. I finish work at 5pm and that iis it.
Your right. I suppose they would have to have the same terms as an MP or Am who get a golden goodbye when they lose. And no. I would not give up my job. But i wouldnt want to be a councillor anyway i like my life just as it is. I finish work at 5pm and that iis it. pinpong

2:34pm Mon 24 Sep 12

Mr Angry says...

I agree with you 100%, however elements in the tabloid media dont see it like that.

Its a difficult issue, combining a full time job with being a Councillor can be difficult,a former Councillor in my Ward worked shifts, which with meetings and ward matters ment at times up to 3 nights without sleep, not good for anybody. The flip side is its not a secure full time job especially in a marginal Ward. Unless indepandtly wealthy who would want it ?

Its an issue that needs looking at very carefully
I agree with you 100%, however elements in the tabloid media dont see it like that. Its a difficult issue, combining a full time job with being a Councillor can be difficult,a former Councillor in my Ward worked shifts, which with meetings and ward matters ment at times up to 3 nights without sleep, not good for anybody. The flip side is its not a secure full time job especially in a marginal Ward. Unless indepandtly wealthy who would want it ? Its an issue that needs looking at very carefully Mr Angry

6:44pm Mon 24 Sep 12

Dai Rear says...

Mr Angry wrote:
Would you give up a full time job for one that only pays 13K a year ?
I fancy that you gross about £29K with ESA, Housing and Council Tax benefit plus Child Tax credit and we won't talk about your children having free meals, but if you did have a full time job at 13K you'd be losing about £1100 a year in Income and National Insurance tax to pay these people-not to mention the State would be ripping you off £4 every gallon of diesel you bought to drive to work. Would that make you a happy bunny?
[quote][p][bold]Mr Angry[/bold] wrote: Would you give up a full time job for one that only pays 13K a year ?[/p][/quote]I fancy that you gross about £29K with ESA, Housing and Council Tax benefit plus Child Tax credit and we won't talk about your children having free meals, but if you did have a full time job at 13K you'd be losing about £1100 a year in Income and National Insurance tax to pay these people-not to mention the State would be ripping you off £4 every gallon of diesel you bought to drive to work. Would that make you a happy bunny? Dai Rear

7:34pm Mon 24 Sep 12

Magor says...

Looking at the state the centre of Newport is in,money should be being paid back.
Looking at the state the centre of Newport is in,money should be being paid back. Magor

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