BLAENAU Gwent councillors will receive an £800 rise in their basic salary from next month onwards.

At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Democratic Services committee next Monday, March 27, councillors will discuss the decisions of the Independent Remuneration Panel of Wales (IRPW), which sets councillors pay.

Last year, councillors all over Wales were given were given a £2,432 rise after the IRPW reinstated the link between councillors’ salary and the Annual Survey of Hourly Earnings (ASHE), which is published by the Office of National Statistics. (ONS).

The IRPW met in February and confirmed that the basic salary will go up by 4.76 per cent, which equates to £800 for the 2023/24 financial year.

This will take councillors basic pay up to £17,600, with increases also to be made to the salary of the leader, deputy leader and cabinet members on top of the basic rise.

An eight-week consultation on the draft proposals took place last year from October 6 to December 1.

At a council meeting in November Blaenau Gwent councillors said that they were “unhappy” with the IRPW proposals especially given the financial “dark times” the country is experiencing.

Due to the cost of living crisis Blaenau Gwent councillors unanimously agreed to tell the IRPW that their pay “should be frozen” to its current level.

However, the IRPW’s final report shows that there was support from those who fed into their consultation for the increase.

IRPW chairwoman Frances Duffy said: “As part of the consultation process, stakeholders were invited to answer five questions using an online survey or by return email.

“A total of 89 responses were received online, whilst 44 were submitted by email.

“Overall, the responses supported the panel’s determinations and so no changes have been made."