A Carmarthenshire county councillor has welcomed a report examining fees paid to Returning Officers at elections in Wales.

Tycroes councillor and Welsh Labour’s candidate for the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr seat at the upcoming election, Calum Higgins, called for a full review into the appointment and payments for Returning Officers.

The role of overseeing elections has been traditionally taken on by the chief executive of the local authority, with fees of up to more than £20,000 being paid for each election seat.

Carmarthenshire chief executive Mark James has previously taken on the role, overseeing the election counts for both the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr and Llanelli seats.

A Welsh Assembly report into senior officer pay in local government has now concluded that greater clarity was needed regarding the role.

The committee said the fees paid were “significant sums of money, which are being received for a position, albeit a separate role of Returning Officer which has been taken on directly as a result of employment in the local authority.”

Cllr Higgins said: “The public accounts committee are right to point out that Returning Officer fees are on top of what chief executives are already paid.

“They are not appointed by the local council, but are almost always the chief executive of the council in question.

“I would like to see a full review of how returning officers are appointed and remunerated, particularly as it’s now becoming a normal part of the job of a chief executive.”

Cllr Higgins said that the public felt chief executives should receive no extra payment for the role.

“To me it’s obvious that we need a Wales wide review dedicated solely to look at Returning Officer fees and appointments,” said Cllr Higgins.