Wednesday 29 October 2014

Reasonable and necessary - but still unlawful

The latest dramatic turn of events in Pembrokeshire, with the Wales Audit Office ruling that Bryn Parry-Jones's £332,000 pay-off is unlawful, will put the council's inept leader, Jamie Adams, firmly back in the spotlight and surely hasten the day of his departure.

The reverberations will be felt over in Carmarthen where Kevin Madge (Lab) will have to decide any day now which way to jump over the chief executive's application for a 6-figure severance package. 

Unlike Jamie Adams, who decided that sacrificing Bryn was the best way to protect his own job, Kevin Madge has stood resolutely by Mark James.

Here is an extract from the minutes of this month's council meeting, with Kev justifying his decision to defend Mark James from the evil Wales Audit Office. 

      In view of the Leader’s previous admission that over £28,000 was spent on legal advice to try to justify the “unlawful” expenditure on the Chief Executive’s tax avoidance scheme and his libel action indemnity, does the Leader think that this was taxpayers' money well spent – and if so, why? 

      Response by Councillor Kevin Madge, Leader of the Council:-
      At the time, we needed independent legal advice and I am satisfied that the expenditure was both reasonable and necessary.


Anonymous said...

The situation in Carmarthenshire is totally different to the case of BPJ. Pembs do not offer a severance scheme to the workforce. In Carms there is the offer of a voluntary expression of interest for severance which is available to all employees including Mr James. That is the subtle difference.
Oh, and b4 you reply by saying that the CE agreed the scheme, i know that!
The difference is that it is available to all employees with over two years service, it would appear that in Pembs it is only available to BPJ.

Cneifiwr said...

Anon - there are whispers in the wind that more revelations about the pension scheme are about to come out.

What Kevin should have done was welcome and accept the WAO reports without reservation. Instead whoever is pulling the strings has ensured that this is a gift which will go on giving.

Voters will not forget this in a hurry.

Anonymous said...

The only not so subtle difference I see is that the Pembs CE didn't respond to a blog and get involved in a vindictive court case and that Pembs want their CE to go whereas in Carmarthenshire the CE has requested to leave. What both have in common is that they have brought their respective authorities into disrepute and their supposed political masters an embarrassing laughing stock. How can these people be trusted with public services when they just lurge from one self inflicted disaster to another ?

Anonymous said...

If Kev thinks £28,000 is "reasonable"for legal advice (all of 2 days!!), I would hate to see what he terms "excessive"!!

Anonymous said...

Indeed Cneifwr, us voters will not forget all this. I for one will never ever vote Plaid in the future. The way that Jonathan Edwards and Rhodri Glyn have behaved during this time has been nothing but unacceptable. It works both ways Cneifwr

Cneifiwr said...

Anon@21.29 - What have they done that is unacceptable? Squandered resources, undermined democracy, treated the public with contempt and run a branch of local government which has become notorious across Wales and beyond?

There can't be many people outside County Hall who would share your views.

Anonymous said...

Anon 20.27
Not a lot I would disagree with you about, but was just trying to be clear about a severance scheme available to all including the CE and in Pembs something only available to the CE.
Your other comments I am completely in agreement with!

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that Pembs have continued to pay the pension payments to BPJ despite WAO deeming them unlawful??

Cneifiwr said...

Seems like it Anon@10.44. BBC Radio Cymru reported this morning that the council was refusing to say whether BPJ would be leaving his job today. You could not make this up.

Redhead said...

Maybe you will get CCC Mark James and they will get Parry-Jones!

Anonymous said...

Anon 21:29 must be living in a parallel universe to the rest of Carmarthenshire residents.
From where I'm sitting Jonathan Edwards and Rhodri Glyn Thomas were the only ones who had the balls to stand up and defend public money.