Plaid leader warns tax-payers could be asked to cough up thousands more in public money in senior officer pay debacle

10/05/2019

The Plaid Cymru leader on Caerphilly council fears councillors could be asked next month to approve spending of thousands more in public money as the senior officers’ pay scandal drags on.

Councillor Colin Mann said: “Last December the council agreed to authorise spending of another £242,000 on this debacle, something which the Plaid Cymru group strongly opposed.

“Since then we have learnt nothing and the Designated Independent Person (DIP) has yet to report, although we were originally told that the report would be ready by the end of last year.  The date was then revised to the end of March, 2019.

“The next full council meeting is now June 4th, 2019, where I fear that another application will be made for additional funding as the last of the additional £242,000 spend runs out at the end of July. We cannot allow more public money to go down the drain.”

Last December, the council said that the cost of the senior officers’ pay and the investigation process would reach an estimated £4,176,000 by the end of this July. Figures obtained by Plaid Cymru under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the cost of the actual pay increases to the officers – which sparked the scandal –will have cost taxpayers another £2,178,813 up to the end of March 2019, taking the cost to over £6.3m.

Councillor Colin Mann added: “People are asking me and other Plaid Cymru councillors about what is happening but we’re completely in the dark.  People can’t believe that this issue is still ongoing.  The silence is deafening. Nothing appears to be happening.

“Some members of the public tell me they are puzzled as to why the council can’t just terminate the contract of the chief executive because he is continuing to be on full pay for staying at home.

“Others are asking why the people who originally agreed to the pay rises for 21 officers have not been held to account.

“The only people who have benefited financially from this debacle are members of the legal profession, auditors and the chief protagonist. The big losers, of course, are the tens of thousands of people who pay council tax in the borough.”