A councillor who voted against a pay hike has donated his £268 increase to charity.

Councillor Tomos Dewi Jones who represents Trefriw ward on Conwy Council has split the cash between the Trefriw Walking Festival and the Dyffryn Conwy Mountain Bike Club.

The pay rise was recommended by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW), the body that decides councillors’ wages.

In Conwy that amounted to an extra £268 for councillors and £532 for cabinet members.

The cash strapped council became the first authority in Wales to introduce monthly black bin collections during the autumn and last week it brought in an inflation busting 9.6% council tax hike.

Cllr Jones explained why he felt he couldn’t accept the rise: “These pay awards are made by the IRPW and the last two years councillors have voted against the pay rise but we can’t opt out of the pay rise. So myself and some of the other councillors have decided to donate the increase to local causes.

“The Llanrwst councillors, for example, are donating to the football club there to help them following the damage caused by the flooding.

“I have chosen to support two causes that are run mainly by volunteers which are the Trefriw Walking Festival and the Dyffryn Conwy Mountain Bike Club.

“They are both local and both are run by people who don’t gain anything from it and they care very much about the area they live in and that’s one of the reasons I stood for the council because I care very much about where I live.

“Any pay award is going to come in for criticism because people feel they are unnecessary but they don’t also see that they are the final checks and balances to ensure the council is doing what it should be doing, Cllr Jones added.