Monday, 27 February 2017

Caerphilly Council senior officers illegal payments now costing over £4.5 million.

Recently I blogged on Caerphilly Labour are bracing themselves for a bloodbath in May,

Wales Online reports that 
Backbench Labour councillors in Caerphilly have been urged to dissociate themselves from their leaders or face voters’ anger over the continuing senior officers’ pay scandal that has riven the authority for more than four years.
Anthony O’Sullivan was suspended as chief executive of Caerphilly council in March 2013 after the Assistant Auditor General for Wales published a report saying he had been implicated in an unlawful process that led to big pay rises for 20 senior officers at the authority and himself.

Earlier minutes of a secret meeting which approved the rises had been leaked to WalesOnline.

Mr O’Sullivan was the author of a report that recommended his own pay should rise from £132,000 to £158,000. After a public outcry his pay rise was reduced to £5,000.
Together with two other senior council officers – his deputy Nigel Barnett and head of legal services Daniel Perkins – he was charged with misconduct in a public office. The charges were dismissed by a judge before a planned trial went ahead.
None of the three men have returned to work and a disciplinary investigation remains under way.
Now the leader of scandal-hit Caerphilly council is to stand down in May ahead of this year's local government elections, it has been announced. Maybe responding to thediscontent in the ranks.
Councillor Keith Reynolds, who has clocked up 38 years in local government, cites emerging health issues for making the "difficult decision" ahead of the local elections on May 4.
Now it appears that  the calamitous saga has  cost a Welsh council £4.5m, according to figures released under Freedom of information laws.
A Freedom of Information act disclosure to Plaid Cymru shows the cost of the scandal will have reached £4.5m by April 2017.
Colin Mann, leader of the council’s opposition Plaid group, said: 
“We are talking about at least £4.5m and rising – £25 for every resident of the borough or £57 for each household.
“The council could have built two new schools, or employed many more teachers.
“Alternatively we could have resurfaced around 50 miles of roads or filled tens of thousands of potholes.
“More enforcement staff could have been employed to tackle one of the scourges of today, presided over by Labour – the huge problem of dog mess and litter.
“We could have had more community safety wardens.”
“More enforcement staff could have been employed to tackle one of the scourges of today, presided over by Labour – the huge problem of dog mess and litter.
“We could have had more community safety wardens.”
Labour’s deputy council leader Dave Poole said: 
The cut-and-thrust of political debate is healthy, especially as we approach the local elections in May.
"But Plaid Cymru can’t be allowed to get away with claims that are distorted or just plain untrue and designed to deceive the voters.”
He said the claim that money spent on the investigation into the senior officers’ pay award was enough to build two new primary schools was nonsense.
He said: “Using Caerphilly council’s current primary school building cost, two primary schools would cost £17m. Plaid’s claim is therefore misleading and deceitful.
“Plaid Cymru councillors voted for the senior remuneration panel that made the original pay award.
 “A Plaid Cymru member of the senior remuneration panel did not vote against the pay award.“And Plaid Cymru councillors are members of the committee investigating this issue.
“Are Plaid Cymru criticising their own councillors?
So I hope Plaid  will have a plan if they should find themselves in power after May,

It is hard to imagine  even at the cost of a unfair dismal tribunal how this could not have been resolved at least cost to the "Ratepayers",

By not facing up to doing so and getting early criticism the Council have mess a bad  situation  worse.

Who ever is running the Council must resolve it at the earliest possible opportunity,

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