Friday, 18 January 2013

Caerphilly act on chief executive pay hike.

Councillors  in Caephilly have voted to cut a pay rise for a local authority chief executive from £27,000 to just £5,000.The  council held a special meeting to discuss the original pay award that would have seen Anthony O'Sullivan receive £158,000 a year.It led to protests by staff and trade unions, leading to an apology from Labour councillors on the authority.
Colin Mann, Plaid Cymru opposition leader on the council, said: 
“This whole debacle has tarnished the reputation of the council and damaged public and staff confidence. It will take some time before it recovers.
“Questions about leadership and judgement are being raised by the public and given the way this episode has been so disastrously handled, the chief executive, as the authority’s most senior official, may now feel he should consider his position.”
Labour council leader Harry Andrews responded: “
This is a preposterous suggestion by Mr Mann who is clearly attempting to distract attention away from the fact that the behaviour of the deputy leader of his group, James Fussell, in this matter is the subject of a live Ombudsman investigation for an alleged breach of the council’s code of conduct. It is Mr Fussell who should consider his position.
Exact details are unclear although it is suggested the complaint revolves around Cllr Fussell’s role in the controversial decision to award 21 top council officers, including the chief executive, huge pay rises.
Cllr Fussell was on a committee with four others which voted for the pay increases. Cllr Fussell has previously stated he did not vote in favour of the increase
So the complaint may be that Councillor was mistaken in his claim that he voted against the increase.

Though it may be an earlier complaint  which isnot kinked to the current controversy  Cllr Andrews is referring to 

Still he's not the only councillor to be reported The complaint against Cllr Fussell follows one against Labour councillor David Hardacre.

Cllr Hardacre’s son Gareth Hardacre is the council’s head of human resources and organisational development. He was present at the meeting of the Senior Remuneration Committee on September 5 when rises for top managers, including himself, were approved.

Cllr Hardacre, the cabinet member for performance and asset management, was present when the minutes of the committee meeting were received and noted at a full council meeting on October 9, but allegedly did not declare an interest.

Labour may think they have put this behind them but many are going to begrudge a £5000 increase when they are on a basic pay.

A statement issued by the four trade unions which represent the council’s workforce said:

 “We are disappointed that the Labour group has been unable to fully meet the expectations of our members to rescind the payments made to the chief executive and the chief officers of Caerphilly Council. We recognise that there are complex legal issues surrounding this matter and accept that the Labour group have made significant efforts to find a resolution to the matter which does not potentially involve the council in prohibitive and significant legal costs.
“However we remain of the view that the chief executive and the chief officers concerned should demonstrate real leadership, recognise that these payments cannot be justified in the current economic climate and voluntarily agree to forego these unacceptable pay increases.”
Mind you what would the Unions have said if it had been another Partyy that  had done this secret deal?

It would certainly be outrage and not "disappointment" from them.

And if two Councillors have been reported to the Ombudsman for the alleged misdemeanours. Why isn't there an investigation to the whole sorry story over the secret pay rise?

Are only smal fry investigated by the  Ombudsman.

Mind you with Labour back to its old hegemony in Wales  and reverting to its arrogant nature. The Ombudsman Office would have to have to be  expanded five fold to deal with it flaunting of the rules and its contempt for those who elected them.

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