Monday 4 November 2013

'Unlawful' payments - still in the dark..

The current 'elephant in the room', or should I say mammoth, at our favourite local authority remains the issue of the 'unlawful' payments. Although I doubt you need reminding, this involves the pension arrangements and the libel indemnity, both relating to the chief executive.

With regards to the pension arrangements, which also involves the chief executive of Pembrokeshire Council, Assembly member Janet Finch-Saunders (Con., Conwy) asked a couple of written questions to the Welsh Minister for Local Government, Lesley Griffiths (Lab);

Q What discussions has the Minister had over the alleged unlawful Chief Executive pension payments in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire County Councils?

A I have discussed this matter with the Auditor General for Wales. The matter is subject to an ongoing audit process.

Q What action is the minister taking to ensure that information, in relation to the alleged unlawful pension arrangements to the Chief Executive in Carmarthenshire County Council is available for scrutiny by Councillors and residents?

A This is a matter for the local authority. Arrangements already exist for scrutiny by both Member and residents.

So, it seems the Welsh Government are not taking much of a view on the subject so far, not publicly anyway, and as for 'arrangements already exist', there's no further elaboration as to what one might do if those arrangements don't actually work.

With regards to the request to the Minister from Plaid AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas for Carmarthenshire Council to be placed in 'special measures' (dated October 10th), I understand there has been no response to date.

The waiting continues and councillors and residents continue to be kept in the dark. Will the audit office issue a Public Interest Report? And if it does, will it be before the promised 'full debate' on the payments at the council meeting on November 13th? Will the councillors be provided with sufficient information, by officers involved in the issues, to lead a proper debate?

Of course, Caebrwyn has some burning questions of her own she would like answered but given her particular situation and ongoing appeal, they can wait.
Meanwhile, both Cneifiwr and Madaxeman provide some food for thought.


Grillo news

In other news, a High Court Judgement was handed down on Friday over the decision by Welsh Minister, Carl Sargeant, to refuse planning permission for the development of the old zinc oxide Grillo site in Burry Port due to the risk of flooding.

Carmarthenshire Council, jointly with the developers, Castletown Estates took the matter to court to challenge Mr Sargeant's decision. At a hearing on the 14th October their case was dismissed, and so the refusal stands.

Who will pick up the legal bill is not clear.

This is a significant decision and will also have a bearing on the Stradey homes development which was recently called in by Mr Sargeant, again over flood risks.

I'm hoping the minister will have another look at the site chosen by the council for the new superschool in Llandeilo, otherwise known, for good reason, as the 'Ffairfach swamp'.

The full Judgement on the Grillo site can be read here;

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are talking thro your hat re Ffairfach Mrs Thompson . The proposed site for the new school{ I suppose you don't like it because it is not in Llandovery] will not bew on the flood plain , the playing fields may