Posted: Tue 14th Apr 2020

Flintshire councillor decides to forgo pay rise to help public purse during coronavirus crisis

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Apr 14th, 2020

A Flintshire councillor has chosen to forgo his pay rise in order to help the public purse during the coronavirus crisis.

Local authority members across Wales have been handed an annual increase of £350 from this month, taking their basic yearly allowance to £13,868.

It follows the recommendation of an independent body set up to review their salaries.

However, Connah’s Quay Golftyn representative Andy Dunbobbin said he did not feel comfortable taking more of tax payer’s money when it could be better spent on public services.

It comes as county council meetings have been suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Labour politician said: “We haven’t had a meeting since March now and we don’t know how long this is going to go on for.

“It doesn’t mean I’ve stopped my work in the community, I’ll always be doing that, but the other side of my role is to be at scrutiny committee meetings.

“If we all do the same, which I think a lot of councillors will be this year, what impact can that have on public services?

“If I can play just my small part in trying to give more finances to carry out these duties, which we’re quite guilty of taking for granted every day, this heightens how valued they are.

“They (key workers) are doing a marvellous job under really difficult circumstances.

“I’ve seen taxi drivers going round delivering free school meals so we’re still helping those who are needing that service.”

Most public bodies in Wales have decided to cancel meetings to prevent the spread of the virus while the pandemic continues.

Some could be set to resume though after the Welsh Government pushed through measures to allow them to hold virtual meetings.

Welsh Assembly members have also used video conferences to allow essential Senedd business to continue.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter

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