An article in last week's South Wales Guardian featured a quote from leader Cllr Kevin Madge (Lab) remarking on the ongoing restructuring of senior management in the council which, he said, included the possibility of abolishing the chief executive role.
Earlier this month, (see Severance), I queried the fact that it was the chief executive himself who had been delegated to extend the severance scheme to cover this year, and also that he had said publicly that he was the one doing the senior management restructuring review...the golden path neatly paved then. All that's now needed is the loyal rubber stamp from Kev, Pam and Co.
This week's paper features a response (not online yet) from Plaid opposition leader Cllr Emlyn Dole who seems to have picked up a very similar train of thought and has, with last week's dire events at Pembs council also in mind I'm sure, demanded that any decision involving a pay-off for the chief executive should be debated by full council and held in public;
"As leader of the opposition group on the council I have to question where the suggestion of making the chief executive's post redundant has come from.
There has been no discussion on the future of that position. It's therefore not unreasonable to question whether the management structure of the council is possibly being changed in order to secure a financial pay-off for one person.
The 28-strong Plaid Cymru group that I lead will want any decision on the chief executive's departure and potential pay-off to be brought in front of full council for all councillors to have their say.
In doing so we will demand that a decision is made in full view of the public so they can see how councillors are spending their money"
Of course, what you demand and what you get can be a very different matter in our council and Rhodri Glyn Thomas, the Plaid AM has already said that Mr James should have no more public money.
However, I would have thought even Mr Madge might agree with Plaid on this one, particularly if he's been listening to public opinion or more to the point, the 'voter'. There's a snapshot of that public opinion over on the petition, which is still available to sign and, if you wish, leave a comment.
Mr Madge has been deeply involved in the whole sorry unlawful payments scandal and has consistently defended the questionable use of public money, despite the financial abyss; most recently defending the £26,000 paid to QC Tim Kerr for the fruitless legal opinions as 'reasonable and necessary'..
Update 24th Oct; I understand that the long awaited WLGA Governance Review report, required following the pension and libel indemnity scandals, is currently being translated and will be published at the end of next week. Everyone who contributed to the review will receive a copy and it will also be published on the WLGA website.
A full page article appeared in today's Welsh language current affairs magazine Golwg highlighting the petition and the subject of the impending pay-off. It is not online but available at all good newsagents in Wales.
|Golwg 23rd October 2014
Cllr Sian Caiach makes the point that under the severance scheme, key members of the workforce are not supposed to take redundancy.
Should a business case be put forward and be accepted, then this may leave a curious situation. If Meryl, Kev and co wish to give the chief executive a gold plated Christmas present, they will be forced to agree, after bleating for years about their wonderful, and indispensable chief executive, that both he, and the role is in fact, entirely dispensable.