Wrexham Advisor Training | The leader
A senior adviser has criticized the lack of training undertaken by Wrexham’s new group of advisers.
The issue was raised at a meeting of Wrexham Council’s Democratic Services Committee.
In a discussion on member training and staff development, Cefn Councilor Derek Wright (Lab) said only nine members had recent training on oversight, five of whom were experienced councilors with only four of the newly elected members elected. earlier this year.
He said, “I have to say I’m very disappointed with the amount of training given, the number of members who have gone through it outside of the Code of Conduct.
“I would have thought most new advisors would be on review boards, so I find that very, very poor.
“I would suggest that we have a task and that we finish the group meeting, but this time we should invite people from all political groups to find out why members of these groups are not taking the training that is made available.
“It’s shocking to see the lack of training, especially for new counsellors. »
Borras Park Cllr Debbie Wallace (Con) suggested training could be at 4 p.m. or later for advisers who work during the day.
She said: ‘It would help if the ones that air during the day could be repeated at 4pm to give working people a chance to come see them.’
Coedpoeth Cllr Anthony Wedlake (Lab) suggested councilors should be subject to the same level of scrutiny over training as staff, but pointed to issues with the management of the council’s email log, which meant some members missing sessions.
It was agreed that a working and arrival group will be set up to look into the matter.
Members of the committee also gave their opinion on the suggestion by the Independent Remuneration Committee for Wales (IRPW) that councilors receive a pay rise of £800 a year.
The (IRPW) which decides the salaries of politicians has proposed an increase of almost 5% from April next year.
If this continues, it would mean the base salary of a Wrexham adviser would rise from £16,800 a year to £17,600 a year.
READ MORE; Wrexham advisers could receive a pay rise
Chairing the meeting, Wynnstay Cllr Malcolm King (Lab) said he had met with the Independent Remuneration Committee several times over the past few years with opposition to what they were proposing.
He said the panel’s argument is that salary encourages more people from different backgrounds to become councilors, which leads to a more representative democracy.
Ceiriog Cllr Trevor Bates (Ind) felt the members had no choice but to accept it.
He said, “It is what it is, and we just have to go with it.”
Cllr Derek Wright said there were choices for the members.
“I think after looking at the cost-of-living crisis, it doesn’t look good that we’re being offered a pay raise of almost five percent,” he said.
Cllr Wright pointed out that councilors have three options: keep the money, give it to the council or give it to charity.
But he added that in some cases, salary is the only source of income for some advisers, and the income pushes them over the threshold if they also needed to claim benefits.
He added: “I don’t think we should see him as wealthy advisers lining their pockets.
“There are a lot of people who become councillors, representing their people very well and it’s their only source of income, so who are we to deny these people a living wage?”
Coedpoeth Cllr Anthony Wedlake (Lab) said it was important not to sound “deaf” when council workers were unlikely to receive a similar pay rise.
He said council staff would likely earn “significantly more than they currently do”, if their salaries were also set by an independent body.
Cllr Wedlake said: ‘It’s really important that we acknowledge this or we seem completely deaf to the conversation we just had about living standards.
‘We need to recognize where the people providing the services of this council may well be facing a lower pay raise than this and have been for some time.’
Advisors will provide feedback to the independent compensation committee by December 1.