National Park Authority pays out more than £76,000 in member salaries and expenses

EXPENSES PUBLISHED: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has published its members' saleries and expenses.  (7936725)

EXPENSES PUBLISHED: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has published its members' saleries and expenses. (7936725)

First published in News

MORE than £76,000 was spent by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority on members’ salaries and travel allowances in the past year.

The Authority has published the cost of basic and senior salaries for the last financial year, 2013 – 2014 as well as the amount paid in reimbursement for travel, subsistence and other expenses.

The 18 members of the Authority were paid a total of £65,903 in basic and senior salaries.

Allowances during this period were determined by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales, whose remit to prescribe Members’ salaries extended to National Park Authorities in 2012.

The percentage of attendance of each member at meetings was also published, including those that only attended part of the year due to changes in Pembrokeshire County Council representation.

In June 2013 Cllr Mike James was appointed as chairman, taking over from Cllr Tony Brinsden who had been chairman since 2011. Cllr James’ senior salary amounts to £6,609.

National Assembly appointed members Ted Sangster and Gwyneth Hayward received £4,466 and £4,360 senior salary amounts respectively.

Twelve members received a basic salary of £3,550 including Cllrs Michael Williams, Peter Morgan, Lyn Jenkins, Alison Lee, Bob Kilmister and Paul Harries.

During the 2013/14 financial year Cllr Brinsden left the Authority along with Cllr Tony Wilcox, with Cllr Owen James and Cllr Stanley Hudson appointed in their place.

Reimbursement of travelling, subsistence and other expense payments amounted to £10,216 for the same period, compared with £8,929 in 2012/13.

Members are expected to attend a range of meetings on behalf of the Authority and are paid expenses under travel and subsistence.

The highest amount claimed for travel was by chairman Cllr James with £1,709 paid back, closely followed by Assembly appointed members Melinda Thomas with £1,539 and Allan Archer with £1,233.

The lowest amount paid was to Christine Gwyther who claimed £11.

The highest claim for a county council member was paid to Cllr Paul Harries with a

total of £793, followed by Cllr David Rees who received £652.

Outgoing chairman Cllr Tony Brinsden attended 100% of his expected meetings, as did Cllrs Peter Morgan, Lyn Jenkins and Paul Harries.

The lowest attendance was recorded by Cllr Alison Lee and Christine Gwyther who both attended 67% of expected meetings with Melinda Thomas not far behind with only 71% attendance.

The full document can be accessed at www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk under About Us/The Authority/Corporate Documents/Draft Statement of Accounts 2013-14.

Comments (11)

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8:48am Wed 9 Jul 14

Tttoommy says...

What's the fuss? its a pittance (to paraphrase one of those rich councillors)

Not even enough to buy a car for your son to go to work in ;)
What's the fuss? its a pittance (to paraphrase one of those rich councillors) Not even enough to buy a car for your son to go to work in ;) Tttoommy
  • Score: 5

9:42am Wed 9 Jul 14

Flashbang says...

Surely having PCC representation on the National Park Authority is a conflict of interest not to mention just another way of sucking money into their own pockets.
Surely having PCC representation on the National Park Authority is a conflict of interest not to mention just another way of sucking money into their own pockets. Flashbang
  • Score: 7

9:55am Wed 9 Jul 14

Gogledd says...

money for old rope...they could use this to fund the day care centres for older people who desperately need contact and support.
money for old rope...they could use this to fund the day care centres for older people who desperately need contact and support. Gogledd
  • Score: 7

1:53pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Bilbo101 says...

Flashbang wrote:
Surely having PCC representation on the National Park Authority is a conflict of interest not to mention just another way of sucking money into their own pockets.
That was my initial view but after careful consideration I have reached an alternative opinion than my normal councillor bashing rant. Personally I think this is very good value for money considering the work they do and the contribution they give. This really is not a lot of money towards helping the National Park run efficiently and cost less than the £89,000 + annual family car insurance that the council is gifting Bryn Parry-Jones.

So one this occasion and in the circumstance I think this is an example of money being well and carefully spent, the park could not function without their input.

It is too easy to tarnish all councillors with the same brush and assume that all their activities are for self serving reasons, and I do think this is unfair as there are some very decent county councillors who do an awful lot of good for the county. It is just a shame and a scandal that on occasions some councillors badly let us down.
[quote][p][bold]Flashbang[/bold] wrote: Surely having PCC representation on the National Park Authority is a conflict of interest not to mention just another way of sucking money into their own pockets.[/p][/quote]That was my initial view but after careful consideration I have reached an alternative opinion than my normal councillor bashing rant. Personally I think this is very good value for money considering the work they do and the contribution they give. This really is not a lot of money towards helping the National Park run efficiently and cost less than the £89,000 + annual family car insurance that the council is gifting Bryn Parry-Jones. So one this occasion and in the circumstance I think this is an example of money being well and carefully spent, the park could not function without their input. It is too easy to tarnish all councillors with the same brush and assume that all their activities are for self serving reasons, and I do think this is unfair as there are some very decent county councillors who do an awful lot of good for the county. It is just a shame and a scandal that on occasions some councillors badly let us down. Bilbo101
  • Score: 1

2:07pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Flashbang says...

Bilbo101, don't you see any conflict of interest or stacking the NPA with councillors being in any way detrimental to proper governance. It should be limited to people with the NPA's best interest at heart. 18 members who can claim expenses and salaries seems to be a bit over the top too, what is it exactly that they all do?
Bilbo101, don't you see any conflict of interest or stacking the NPA with councillors being in any way detrimental to proper governance. It should be limited to people with the NPA's best interest at heart. 18 members who can claim expenses and salaries seems to be a bit over the top too, what is it exactly that they all do? Flashbang
  • Score: 3

5:33pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Gogledd says...

Personally I think it all should be put under the current planning department as its not necessary to have two separate planning authorities within PCC and the additional money paid to its members etc is not justified under the circumstances. I dont consider it is good value for money.
Personally I think it all should be put under the current planning department as its not necessary to have two separate planning authorities within PCC and the additional money paid to its members etc is not justified under the circumstances. I dont consider it is good value for money. Gogledd
  • Score: 2

6:20pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Cymru bach says...

Why don't the County Councillors receive a pro rata reduction in their PCC re numeration?
After all you can't do two jobs at the same time can you?
Why don't the County Councillors receive a pro rata reduction in their PCC re numeration? After all you can't do two jobs at the same time can you? Cymru bach
  • Score: 3

6:55pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Bilbo101 says...

Flashbang wrote:
Bilbo101, don't you see any conflict of interest or stacking the NPA with councillors being in any way detrimental to proper governance. It should be limited to people with the NPA's best interest at heart. 18 members who can claim expenses and salaries seems to be a bit over the top too, what is it exactly that they all do?
Hi, I do see you point about possible conflicts of interest, however I can't remember any issue arising from this in the last few years, but I am not that knowledgeable about the NP going-ons. My understanding is that councillors work in a similar way to the way the do in the council and make decisions on such issues as planning applications etc.

The way things are going it looks like the NP are going to be forced to be merged into the County Council anyway. Which would not necessarily be a bad thing if only we had a majority of councillors who had some scruples and good ethics and unfortunately as we all know with the IPPG many of the councillors are either back-scrathers of the old boys club or they are frightened sheep and intimidated to vote alone party lines.

It pretty much looks like Ceredigion, PCC and the NP are going to be merged into one organisation which if done correctly could make the whole organisation a lot more efficient and cost effective. However if the IPPG group have anything to do with it then unfortunately it is likley to result in service cuts for us and plum jobs for them and bumper pay-rises, and no doubt Bryn has already got his eye on the top job and all the extra benefits that he knows his beloved IPPG will be more than happy to grant him.

So Flashbang, yes I do get you point but I do believe than in this instance they do contribute quite a lot to the running of the national park and do have it's interests at heart.

Take for example Peter Morgan, a local boy who has lived for many years in the haven and the national park. Even though he is a member of the dreaded IPPG group I am pretty confident that he will always act in the NP and Pembrokeshire peoples best interest and would not approve anything that would be detrimental to the NP.

I really do think that they do a lot of valuable work and at a cost of only £76,000 then I think it is a bargain and we are getting value for money. It would be interesting to hear from any NP insiders and / or people with a lot more knowledge on the subject to give us a bit more of an informed answer because in all honesty my comments are no more than my own personal assumptions and opinions.

If you compare the £76,000 to the cost that the county councillors cost us in wages, perks, travelling expenses and bad decisions than I am sure the £76,000 would seem like a drop in the ocean.
[quote][p][bold]Flashbang[/bold] wrote: Bilbo101, don't you see any conflict of interest or stacking the NPA with councillors being in any way detrimental to proper governance. It should be limited to people with the NPA's best interest at heart. 18 members who can claim expenses and salaries seems to be a bit over the top too, what is it exactly that they all do?[/p][/quote]Hi, I do see you point about possible conflicts of interest, however I can't remember any issue arising from this in the last few years, but I am not that knowledgeable about the NP going-ons. My understanding is that councillors work in a similar way to the way the do in the council and make decisions on such issues as planning applications etc. The way things are going it looks like the NP are going to be forced to be merged into the County Council anyway. Which would not necessarily be a bad thing if only we had a majority of councillors who had some scruples and good ethics and unfortunately as we all know with the IPPG many of the councillors are either back-scrathers of the old boys club or they are frightened sheep and intimidated to vote alone party lines. It pretty much looks like Ceredigion, PCC and the NP are going to be merged into one organisation which if done correctly could make the whole organisation a lot more efficient and cost effective. However if the IPPG group have anything to do with it then unfortunately it is likley to result in service cuts for us and plum jobs for them and bumper pay-rises, and no doubt Bryn has already got his eye on the top job and all the extra benefits that he knows his beloved IPPG will be more than happy to grant him. So Flashbang, yes I do get you point but I do believe than in this instance they do contribute quite a lot to the running of the national park and do have it's interests at heart. Take for example Peter Morgan, a local boy who has lived for many years in the haven and the national park. Even though he is a member of the dreaded IPPG group I am pretty confident that he will always act in the NP and Pembrokeshire peoples best interest and would not approve anything that would be detrimental to the NP. I really do think that they do a lot of valuable work and at a cost of only £76,000 then I think it is a bargain and we are getting value for money. It would be interesting to hear from any NP insiders and / or people with a lot more knowledge on the subject to give us a bit more of an informed answer because in all honesty my comments are no more than my own personal assumptions and opinions. If you compare the £76,000 to the cost that the county councillors cost us in wages, perks, travelling expenses and bad decisions than I am sure the £76,000 would seem like a drop in the ocean. Bilbo101
  • Score: 1

7:01pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Bilbo101 says...

Cymru bach wrote:
Why don't the County Councillors receive a pro rata reduction in their PCC re numeration?
After all you can't do two jobs at the same time can you?
Well you can if they are both part-time. Are county councillors meant to spend a certain number of hours on county council business ? I don't know about this but I don't think that they have to account for a certain amount of hours each week. Maybe OldGrumpy, Mr Edwards or somebody with more knowledge can enlighten us on that ???
[quote][p][bold]Cymru bach[/bold] wrote: Why don't the County Councillors receive a pro rata reduction in their PCC re numeration? After all you can't do two jobs at the same time can you?[/p][/quote]Well you can if they are both part-time. Are county councillors meant to spend a certain number of hours on county council business ? I don't know about this but I don't think that they have to account for a certain amount of hours each week. Maybe OldGrumpy, Mr Edwards or somebody with more knowledge can enlighten us on that ??? Bilbo101
  • Score: 0

7:14pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Flashbang says...

Bilbo101, I base my assumptions on past performance. Again I ask why do they need 18 on the payroll? What do they do as the IPPG cannot be trusted to what's best for the people of the county? The markets and plans for Tenby harbour spring to mind.
Q. How do you keep people voting to keep you in power? A. Give them a paid sinecure of course.
Bilbo101, I base my assumptions on past performance. Again I ask why do they need 18 on the payroll? What do they do as the IPPG cannot be trusted to what's best for the people of the county? The markets and plans for Tenby harbour spring to mind. Q. How do you keep people voting to keep you in power? A. Give them a paid sinecure of course. Flashbang
  • Score: 0

11:18pm Thu 10 Jul 14

malcolm calver says...

It amazes me that statements such as "Peter Morgan, a local boy who has lived for many years in the haven and the national park. Even though he is a member of the dreaded IPPG group I am pretty confident that he will always act in the NP and Pembrokeshire peoples best interest and would not approve anything that would be detrimental to the NP" are made. I would ask are they both the same.
I would argue that there is no difference in appearance between areas inside or outside the National Park area. so therefore is their a need for two separate costly authorities surely it is time to amalgamate them.
To answer the question of the hours worked by county councillors I do believe it was estimated that the role would consume twenty two hours per week. It has often amazed me that many including Cllr Tom Tudor and Cllr Alison Lee are able to find time when they have other work commitments..
It amazes me that statements such as "Peter Morgan, a local boy who has lived for many years in the haven and the national park. Even though he is a member of the dreaded IPPG group I am pretty confident that he will always act in the NP and Pembrokeshire peoples best interest and would not approve anything that would be detrimental to the NP" are made. I would ask are they both the same. I would argue that there is no difference in appearance between areas inside or outside the National Park area. so therefore is their a need for two separate costly authorities surely it is time to amalgamate them. To answer the question of the hours worked by county councillors I do believe it was estimated that the role would consume twenty two hours per week. It has often amazed me that many including Cllr Tom Tudor and Cllr Alison Lee are able to find time when they have other work commitments.. malcolm calver
  • Score: 2

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