§ Mr. Hanson
[holding answer 18 January 2000]: My right hon. Friend has discussions on issues affecting Wales with the First Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales on a regular basis. The Secretary of State has had no discussions with the First Secretary on issuing guidance to councils on future levels of remuneration or allowances. The setting of members' allowances is a matter for individual councils.
Under the present draft of the Local Government Bill, the National Assembly will have the power to make regulations to require councils in Wales to establish an independent panel to review councillors' allowances and pensions.