Labour vote through another £242,000 in wake of senior officers' pay scandal

14/12/2018

Caerphilly Council last night approved a report authorising another £242,000 for the continuing internal investigation involving chief executive Anthony O'Sullivan. This in the wake of the senior officers' pay scandal under the last Labour administration.

The Plaid Cymru group voted against the additional funding which was supported by Labour councillors.

Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group told the council: "We are all totally frustrated - some of us tried to stop it before it started, about six years ago now.

"I have lost count of the number of people who have come up to me and make comments - most of them are not repeatable,

"This is getting incredulous. It has gone on longer than the Second World War The Plaid group has decided not to support this particular motion."

He noted hat the chief  beneficiaries of the debacle were the legal profession which had been paid £1.17m, closely followed by the "chief protagonist".

Deputy Plaid leader Lyndon Binding and Aber Valley councillor, said that he would oppose the additional financial provision.

He said that budget proposals for next year threatened to pull £3,500 grant funding that could force the closure of a water play park in the valley for the kids. Yet, Lyndon Binding said, he was being asked to support an additional payment of £242,000.

"I simply can't do it in good conscience and I won't," he declared.

Felllow Plaid councillor Mike Davies complained that the last Labour administration had not dealt with the matter properly.

Councillor Lindsay Whittle added: "All of us are feeling emotive about it. Some are feeling emotive because of their anger, there may even be some because of their guilt."

Earlier Councillor Colin Elsbury asked how much had been paid to the Designated Independent Person (DIP) heading the investigation and how much the DIP was being paid per day and per hour. The council officer did not have the figures to hand. Councillor Colin Mann recalled the cost of employing the DIP might be £1,000 a day.

The motion to authorise the additional spending was carried by 40 votes to 16 against with one abstention.

NOTE: Total cost of debacle, if you include the pay rises given to 20 senior officers which sparked the scandal, is close to £6m of public money.