PENARTH Town Council has supported recommendations that some councillors should be paid a annual member's allowance.

At an extraordinary meeting of the council yesterday (Wednesday, January 10), the town council accepted the recommendation from the Independent Remuneration Panel Wales for the 2018/2019 financial year.

It would mean five senior councillors consisting of the leader and the chairmen and chairwomen of the committees would receive an allowance of £500 per year.

The council is set to revisit the proposals in the next financial year.

The finance and HR committee voted in favour of the recommendations at their last meeting on December 21.

It would be up to the individual members themselves whether to accept or turn down the payment.

Cllr Martin Turner, the Conservative member for Plymouth ward said that a potential restructuring of the town council committees may change this.

He added: "I am disappointed that the IRP didn't encourage more and more new people to become involved with the council.

"It is a retrograde step to getting new people involved just to offer it to the chairs."

Cllr Mark Wilson, Labour member for Stanwell ward agreed with Cllr Turner and said the council would revisit this if and when the committees are restructured.

He said: "Certain people may or may not take that salary."

He suggested the council formally endorses it and then the proposal is taken to the next council in 2018/2019.

Cllr Nigel Humphrey, the Labour member for St Augustine's ward reminded councillors that this is not a salary but just a member's allowance.

Cllr Ben Gray, Conservative member for Plymouth ward said he appreciates what the IRP are doing to remove politics from the issue which can be hotly debated.

He said it is right that the council revisits this and that they support what the IRP is doing.

Cllr Gray said: "It is how we properly cover costs without it turning into an issue."

Labour councillors Mark Wilson and leader of the council Mike Cuddy suggested that they make representations to One Voice Wales, the body that represents town and community councils, about the issue.

Cllr Cuddy said: "It is tricky. There is a huge difference in the size of councils."

He said the dilemma for IRP is deciding how to band this. 

Cllr Gray added: "I disagree with rejecting everything the IRP say.

"It is right to adopt it and it is up to councillors to choose how they deal with what they receive. 

"It is the right process and ensures people do not have any barrier to getting involved."