Tuesday 10 December 2013

Tomorrow's Council Meeting - a Christmas Special

It is unlikely that seasonal cheer and goodwill will be much in evidence at tomorrow's meeting of Carmarthenshire County Council where the rap sheet seems to grow with every week that passes.

A large chunk of the short time available for democratic debate and asking questions on behalf of the people of Carmarthenshire will be devoted to another corporate presentation. This month it is Scarlets Regional Ltd who have recently been handed the best part of £2 million in interest write-downs and most of the loot from the sale of a piece of council-owned land.

Last month it was BT, and some very interesting questions are being to be asked about that company's marketing tactics and lavish entertainment of senior council officers and civil servants in Wales and on the other side of Offa's Dike.

With the dire budget settlement looming, perhaps we'll be treated to a show from Wonga at the January meeting.

Also likely to feature at tomorrow's meeting will be serious questions about the conduct of the council in the row about the chief executive's pension arrangements. The Plaid Cymru group has put out a statement (below) setting out some of the questions which need to be answered.

Will Kevin Madge have time to work up another show of incoherent verbal fireworks? Will Meryl and Pam  rehearse their pantomime routines? Will Calum need a neck brace after nodding a little too vigorously in support of Kev?

Tune in and find out.


Searching questions are being asked of Carmarthenshire County Council Leader Kevin Madge after his Executive Board backed down over a disputed £16,350 payment to Chief Executive Mark James in lieu of pension contributions, as a tax avoidance measure.
The Plaid Cymru opposition group in County Hall are demanding that the Leader should explain exactly what's happened.
“This matter has been one of intense public interest since the Wales Audit Office declared the payment to be unlawful,” said Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, who leads the 28-strong Plaid group on the council. “The Executive Board, after insisting all along that the pay supplement policy to senior officers was perfectly lawful, has now done an u-turn by saying it will be withdrawn on "procedural grounds”. I’m asking the Leader to explain exactly what that means.
 “Despite being told by the Wales Audit Office that the payment to the Chief Executive was unlawful, the Executive Board insisted on taking their own legal opinion from a leading QC, in the hope of proving otherwise. It’s quite obvious they’ve been advised to back down by the barrister, but they still deny that the arrangement is “intrinsically unlawful.”
“This is quite an incredible situation, which shows that the Labour-Independent regime which runs this council has made a shambles of the whole affair,” said Cllr Hughes Griffiths. "The taxpayers of Carmarthenshire have a right to know exactly how much this sorry affair has cost us to date. We, in Plaid Cymru, feel that those responsible should be called to account.”


Anonymous said...

What does the Plaid legal team make of it plenty of them trained barristers ect. That would be many more heads than just one leading QC opinion by a local authority and Free.

Anonymous said...

Anon 16:23, only an imbecile could make a comment such as this, regardless of their political persuasion!!!