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Attendees

Frances Duffy, Chair
Saz Willey, Vice Chair
Bev Smith, Member 
Kate Watkins, Member 
Apologies were received from Dianne Bevan, Member
Sara Rees, Secretariat
Shan Whitby, Secretariat

External stakeholders attending the meeting 

Roger Ashton-Winter, Local Democracy and Boundary Commission  
Councillor Rob Stewart, Council Leader, Swansea Council
Chris Stevens, Welsh Government Policy Official

Introduction

The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (“Panel”) met on Tuesday 14 May 2024. 

The aim of the meeting was to:

  • discuss the Panel’s transition into the Democracy and Boundary Commission Cymru in March 2025
  • review and agree April 2024 meeting notes (full and summary), note actions budget and Secretariat Updates
  • discuss the remuneration of Corporate Joint Committees (CJCs), agreeing next steps
  • discuss any other business

Transition update 

The chair reported the first stage of Elections and Elected Bodies Bill had been completed, noting that the Bill will progress into stage 2 with the next committee hearing on Thursday 16 May. This will be followed by the Stage 3 and Stage 4 debates on 18 and 24 June. 

The chair will work with Roger Ashton-Winter (RAW) and Bev Smith (BS) to develop a Transition Plan, capturing actions and highlighting issues to ensure work is planned and completed in advance of the transition in April 2025. This is to ensure a smooth transition of functions of the IRP to the Democracy Boundary Commission Cymru in April 2025.

Budget

The Panel discussed the 2024 to 2025 budget and noted the budget set for communication/engagement and for research.

Actions and secretariat update

The Panel agreed the full minutes and summary from its meeting in April 2024. 

The Panel reviewed and discussed correspondence from 2 Principal Councils. 

Remuneration of Corporate Joint Committees (CJCs) 

The Panel has not previously considered in detail the question of remuneration for members of the newly set up Corporate Council Joint Committees (CJCs), having taken the decision in its 2022 Annual report to await the development of these new bodies before deliberating on this. 

The Panel considered a decision paper, prepared jointly by the Secretariat and the Welsh Government policy lead for CJCs. The paper provided information in order for the Panel to consider whether members of Corporate Joint Committees (CJCs) should be remunerated by identifying Powers and Duties, Membership and Structure, Governance, Standards and Scrutiny.       

The Panel also welcomed Councillor Rob Stewart, chair of South West Wales CJC to provide an overview on progress so far with the development of CJCs, their roles and responsibilities and to contribute to the discussion on remuneration of members. 

The Panel agreed that, as a priority, there should be a Supplementary Report, issued for consultation, to set out a Draft Determination on remuneration for co-opted lay members of CJCs. This would broadly follow the principles already agreed for co-opted members of Principal Councils, National Park Authorities and Fire and Rescue Authorities. The Panel noted that they had previously agreed that travel and subsistence claims and cost of care allowances should be paid to all members of CJCs. 

Any other business

The Panel declined an invitation to attend the WLGA Conference 2024, due to pre-existing diary commitments. 

The Panel discussed stakeholder engagement (in preparation for publishing draft report).

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales will take place on 25 June 2024.  

Should you have any matters you wish to raise with the Panel, please do not hesitate to get in touch via the Secretariat by emailing IRPMailbox@gov.wales.