Monday 9 September 2013

A Bombshell

The Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council was understandably cock-a-hoop when he won a slam dunk victory in the libel case against blogger Jacqui Thompson earlier this year.

Unfortunately the Court of Appeal has now taken the view that there were aspects of the verdict which merit a second look, and as followers of her blog will have seen, Jacqui has been granted leave to appeal.

What this means is that in a few months from now the Chief Executive, the manager of the press office, the ever-loyal Head of Law and other hangers-on will most likely be ferried by council limo and first-class train accommodation back up to London for the next round, while champagne corks pop in the Inns of Court.

Cneifiwr also understands that the Auditor General and his staff have been peering over their half-moon spectacles at the taxpayer-funded legal orgy in County Hall, and started asking awkward questions about the legality of the way in which the chief executive was awarded his indemnity.

What appears to be troubling the official guardians of the public purse are some spooky but no doubt entirely superficial parallels to recent unfortunate events in the County Borough of Caerphilly.

Questions raised include:

  • Why did the Chief Executive not declare an interest at the Executive Board meeting which approved his indemnity?
  • Why did the Chief Executive remain present throughout the discussion?
  • What part did the Chief executive play in drawing up the report which recommended that he should be granted an indemnity?
  • Why was the matter treated as an emergency item and not advertised on the published meeting agenda (which of course the Chief Executive himself drew up)?
And on that bombshell, as Alan Partridge would say.....


Jac o' the North, said...

If it is the Court of Appeal that brings this farce to a satisfactory conclusion then questions will be asked of the 'Welsh' Government. Primarily, why did it, for so long, believe that there was no need for intervention?

Anonymous said...

Its about time Carmarthenshire County Council stopped spending money on its vanity projects - I include Mr James' alleged hurt feelings along with the sponsorship of the Scarlets, new schools which not only cost tons to the council tax payer but also hit the parents in the pocket and disrupt whole communities, dubious grants apparently distributed by temporary poorly trained staff and new town cwntre developments which only move the local businesses from one area to another rather than stimulate real growth. How much of the half a billion income the council gets is actually spent on things which really benefit the community? Does anyone actually know?

Anonymous said...

Yeah - and another question - how come he couldn't remember if he'd even been at such a massively personally important meeting, as he told old Tug-End? Or, alternatively how come old Tug-End believed his answer, as surely he must have as part of his character analyses to have come to such a totally black and white conclusion?

Anonymous said...


leave to appeal is permission to appeal. merit is not discussed at leave to appeal, just what points of law may be appealed.

Unfortunatley, facts will not be discussed, so whatever was decided as fact will not be changed.

Anonymous said...

By not intervening in matters of a very serious nature, Welsh Government Ministers become complicit and are failing in their duties as public servants.

Mark James has too many involvements with the Welsh Government down in Cardiff Bay!

It's wrong. If Ministers always (as they do) refer you back to CCC when there are extremely serious issues needing to be addressed they should keep senior officers of all councils, not just CCC, at arms length, otherwise they are compromised. Obvious really!