Potential assistant to executive discussed and no remuneration proposed

By Katy Jenkins   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Wednesday 29th June 2022 9:40 am
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Pembrokeshire County Council
(Stock image )

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A select few councillors may have the chance to become ‘assistants to the executive’ as new posts are mooted at County Hall.

Adding assistants to the executive is permitted under the Local Government Act and Pembrokeshire County Council referred consideration of changing its constitution on the matter to the democratic services committee on June 27.

At annual council last month it was noted that members were asked to note changes to the constitution to provide for job sharing of cabinet members and providing assistants to the executive – with those appointed helping with cabinet responsibilities.

The assistants – of up to three people – are discretionary and may not be used, even if added to the constitution, a report to committee states.

There is potential for the assistant to be paid, but the committee heard that how much this could be would be decided by the Remuneration Panel for Wales, that could not make any recommendation without further information on what the roles would entail.

Concerns raised at annual council included the need for a “radical” change to how the council operates, complication and duplication of roles, financial implications while the benefits included skill progression, diversity and succession planning.

Cllr Jamie Adams said it would be an opportunity to engage with new members of the council and allow others to gain cabinet experience, with a similar system in place when he was leader on a “cost neutral” basis.

He agreed with Cllr Alan Dennison’s view that the posts should not be remunerated, adding any changes “should not be funded being cost envelope of the current cabinet budget” especially “when we are heading into a recession.”

Payment for the assistant roles was supported by Cllrs Michele Bateman and Joshua Beynon, with concerns raised about limiting those able to take on the greater responsibility outside of paid employment without access to remuneration.

Cllr Adams proposed support for the roles, if implemented, with no remuneration for 12 months and then for a review, which was approved by the committee.

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