Cardiff councillors are set for a 16% pay hike following a new settlement announced yesterday.
And the council’s leader faces a pay cut under the new rules – but of just £119.
Rodney Berman will be paid £52,581 from 2012/13, compared to £52,700 last year, following a report from the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales.
The basic salary of Cardiff councillors – currently the lowest in South Wales – will rise from £11,342 to £13,175.
The panel, which sets allowances for councillors, published a consultation report which cuts basic salaries for councillors by 5% below the current maximum and senior salaries by 10% below the maximum.
The panel previously set a maximum allowance, with councils free to set their own levels. This year, however, it will prescribe the amount to be paid across Wales.
As many local authorities currently do not pay councillors the maximum allowances allowed, it will mean that, in many councils, amounts will actually rise rather than fall.
Salaries for leaders will vary as to the size of the local authority. Leaders of the largest “Group A” councils – including Cardiff – will receive £52,700.
Similarly, payment for other senior roles will vary according to authority size, but will be 10% less than the previous maximum allowed. The report also sets similarly reduced levels of payment for members of national park authorities and members of fire and rescue authorities.
Steve Thomas, chief executive of the Welsh Local Government Association, said he believed the report was “very flawed”.
“I think it’s divisive,” he said. “I think in a year running up to local government elections, telling some councils that they’re going to be receiving increases while others are going to have pay cuts is not a great, attractive approach to getting new people to come into councils.
“I think the stuff on SRAs [senior responsibility allowances] is naive in the extreme and I’m not that clear that the cost saving is going to be £1m.”