Tuesday 4 February 2014

Council Crisis: Statement from the Plaid group

At the end of a two-hour meeting last night (Monday) Plaid Cymru councillors forming the 28-strong opposition group on Carmarthenshire County Council unanimously resolved to present two motions of no confidence in the Council’s leadership.
The first is a motion of no confidence in Chief Executive, Mark James. 
The second is a motion of no confidence in three members of the Council’s Executive Board – Leader, Kevin Madge, former Leader Meryl Gravell and Deputy Leader, Pam Palmer. These three current members of the Executive Board were on the Board when it made decisions which have been branded unlawful by the Wales Audit Office. 
Plaid are also calling for an extraordinary meeting of the full council and for the Chief Executive to be suspended pending a full investigation.
Opposition group Leader, Councillor Peter Hughes Griffiths said his group will ask for an emergency meeting of the full council, to be held immediately and in advance of the budget-decision meeting which is scheduled for 19th February.
He said that Plaid Cymru members took no joy in bringing forward the motions but the highly-damaging Wales Audit Office reports were serious enough to warrant such actions.
Cllr Hughes Griffiths added that Council Leader Kevin Madge should immediately suspend the Chief Executive pending a full investigation.
 Speaking after the group meeting on Monday evening, he said:
“The serious and damaging findings of the Wales Audit Office reports required swift action.  It is not the job of councillors or the council’s leadership to challenge and undermine the integrity of the independent Audit Office – these reports should be accepted and their recommendations implemented.
“The group I lead is increasingly concerned by the attitude of the Council leadership and called an urgent meeting of the council to discuss the reports’ findings.

“After an informed meeting, we have regrettably decided to present two motions of no confidence in both the Chief Executive and three members of the Executive Board. 

My members take no joy in bringing forward these motions, but the highly-damaging report findings are serious enough to warrant this action.
“We believe an extraordinary meeting of the council should be called immediately, and in advance of the budget-decision meeting scheduled for 19th February.  We have signed a request to the Council Chair and will be presenting that official request to him.

“In the meantime, and now considering the involvement of the police, I call on the Council Leader, Kevin Madge, to suspend the Chief Executive in order for a thorough investigation to take place into the findings of the Wales Audit Office reports.”


sian caiach said...

I hear that kevin Madge has called an extraordinary meeting after the budget meeting where only the 2 illegal payments will be discussed.
I.e. no chance of any decision on what to do about it all.
We can't go on like this with no action taken despite overwhelming evidence of misuse of public money.
I presume the next statement will be that the council will wait for the police to investigate before making a final decision.
Suspension is a neutral action, no-one loses pay etc but in a case where the most senior officers appear to have acted illegally, they cannot be allowed to continue working.
Also, the issues in the case of the Council leader are not just related to the illegal payments, but to other aspects of his administration and judgement.
Previously, all motions to council likely to embarrass the Leader have been referred back to the executive and are dismissed.
I doubt if that would be the proper action in this case with so many of the exec implicated in all this.
This is a lame duck council until we sort ourselves out and we should start a.s.a.p.

m1books said...

Thank you Cneifiwr for your continuous, speedy and riveting updates. Your keyboard must be red hot and you must be close to repetitive strain injury!
Plaid have rightly stated what we are all shouting for - this has NOW got to be the way forward. The CEO & EB are sounding like fools - they have lost their last shreds of dignity and respect.

Anonymous said...

When are you going to report on the budget meeting? Very strange there seems to be a silence in repect of this very important issue?