Thursday 13 February 2014

Kevin Madge fails to suspend Mark James - and a statement from Plaid MP - updated

Update 14.04; According to press reports there will be an emergency meeting of the Executive Board at 5pm today, it will naturally be held in private, obviously no need to break the habit of a lifetime now.

Update; Mrs Angry's written a post; Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break ... #daftarrest, a year on: Mark James and a police investigation 


With the police having announced an official investigation into possible criminal activity concerning the pension payments and libel indemnity paid to Carmarthenshire's Chief Executive, Mark James CBE the situation remains, for now at least, quite astonishing. Unlike in any other walk of life, those being investigated and facing possible arrest, currently remain in office, surrounded by, and in control of, the very evidence being investigated.

According to the Western Mail, Council leader Kevin Madge asked Mr James to 'step down voluntarily' yesterday evening, that doesn't seem to have happened. Cllr Madge's ridiculous statement, issued by the Labour Party press office, rather than the council, avoided all mention of 'suspensions'. Obviously someone wouldn't let him use the council press office.

In a call for Kevin Madge to resign over his failure to suspend the Chief Executive and further to the press release issued yesterday, Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards has just released the statement below.

Inaction of Carmarthenshire Labour Leader undermines First Minister of Wales

The decision by the Labour leader of Carmarthenshire Council, Kevin Madge, to keep the Chief Executive in post whilst a criminal investigation takes place has undermined the authority of the First Minister.  That was the message from Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards today after the failure of Kevin Madge to suspend the council Chief Executive, Mark James, from his role.

The Plaid Cymru MP has said Councillor Kevin Madge had diminished the role of council leader and exposed Carmarthenshire residents to further financial risks in challenging the Wales Audit Office reports.

Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards said:

“The Leader of the council has had at least three opportunities to recognise the seriousness of the Wales Audit Office reports – the latest of which was an announcement that a criminal investigation is being conducted by the police – but he has failed.

“His failure to suspend the chief executive and failure to accept the findings of the audit reports demonstrates a complete dereliction of duty to the taxpayers’ of Carmarthenshire.  He will expose residents to further financial risks should the council challenge the audit reports in court.

“The First Minister has publicly called on Carmarthenshire to consider the law and to deal with the situation.  By allowing the chief executive to remain in post, and to dismiss the findings of the audit report, Kevin Madge is ignoring the First Minister and has entirely undermined his authority.

“The Welsh government has been aware of Carmarthenshire Council’s intention to pay the chief executive’s legal costs since 2010 but it has failed to act.  It has allowed the council to ignore and bypass legislation from Wales’s own national government.  The residents I represent have therefore been let down by both the Welsh government and the labour and independent executive of this council.

“Kevin Madge needs to go.  His inaction has diminished the role of Leader he is clearly incapable of fulfilling the job required of him.  Before he resigns, he should show just one iota of courage and suspend the chief executive.”


Yesterday's meeting has now been archived here and you can watch it in full. However, as before, the auditor's reports were not for discussion, not until the 27th February when those involved will be represented by their QC....

It was left to Cllr Sian Caiach to give voice to what everyone was uppermost in everyone's mind and she showed brave determination against the culture of bullying and intimidation.

It was the minutes of the Executive Board from the 6th January (see Libel case - Executive Board meeting), relevant to the auditor's report, which were up for approval, and you can see Cllr Caiach's two attempts to raise her concerns over the libel indemnity by clicking on 00:06:12 and 01:48:00 on the webcast. She also said that she hoped that once and for all, this scandal would stop other councils from suing individuals by proxy.

County Hall, Jail Hill


Anonymous said...

An Executive Board meeting with Mark at the Chair giving out orders not to sack him?

Anonymous said...

Question 1 - Is Mark James an employee of CCC?

If the answer to the question is YES then are CCC not breaching equality (see WAO pension report) by not suspending Mark James not to mention breaching CCC's own policies and procedures i.e. investigation and disciplinary policies.

Anonymous said...

Breaching policies and procedures?
They do it all the time.

Anonymous said...

Clearly anon 15:27 but demonstrating that once again they have breached the equality act despite a warning by WAO surely (see WAO pension report) serves to adds impetus to the WAO's case!

Anonymous said...

So 5 pm has come and gone and no statement about decisions made. Just who is making those decisions and in whose interests?