Tuesday 14 October 2014

Petition - Mark James' severance deal

Update 5th November; The Western Mail, Llanelli Star and the Carmarythen Journal have now reported on the petition which today is approaching 500 signatures and numerous comments. See http://carmarthenplanning.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/western-mail-reports-on-petition-to.html


A petition has been set up by a Carmarthenshire resident to not pay Carmarthenshire County Council chief executive Mark James any more public money through a severance pay-off when he leaves the authority.

A decision on this could be made as early as next month and could possibly be heard at the next full council meeting on the 12th November, in just over three weeks time. It is important therefore that as many people as possible sign this petition and make their voice heard.

If you wish to sign, please click on the link below. You do not have to live in Carmarthenshire to do so. If you also wish to leave a comment, please do so on the petition;

Change.org; 'To not pay disgraced Local Authority Chief Executive, Mark James, a voluntary severance package'

Plaid Cymru AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas has also said publicly that he did not believe any more public money should be paid out for Mr James' departure.
(Western Mail, 30th September)

Update 15th October;
Rumours have been circulating, and indeed reaching Caebrwyn, that Mark James has already accepted another job elsewhere (the University of Bath we hear?) despite his severance application still to be decided. The council have called it 'speculation'.
The Llanelli Star has the story here.

Over the border, the Pembrokeshire Herald reports on rumours that equally disgraced Pembs council chief executive, Bryn Parry-Jones, could be paid a £320,000 exit package. Councillors are due to decide tomorrow.
Update Thursday; Pembs councillors approve pay-off for Bryn Parry Jones. According to BBC Wales it is worth £330,000. According to reports, the deal is being looked over by the Wales Audit Office.

As far as Carmarthenshire is concerned, it's all the more reason to sign the petition.

(Previous posts; Severance and Final Charging order...and Mark James is off)


Anonymous said...

Is it not the case that anyone accepting a voluntary redundancy package is legally entitled to receive a compensatory severance package? Whilst agreeing that no DISCRETIONARY payment should be made to Mr James, it appears somewhat niaive to run a campaign (political or otherwise)to propose that NO further public money should go to him. His Statutory right to receive redundancy compensationsurely must be "public money".

caebrwyn said...

Thank you for your comment.

I do not believe it is naive for members of the public to make their voice heard on this by signing the petition, if fact I think it is essential that this message its put across.

The comments left on the petition show the strength of feeling. Here are a couple of examples;

"I'm 74 and have payed council tax all my life I do not want anymore of my money wasted on this person"

"We paid rates, poll tax and community charge in Carmarthenshire 35 years till last year. I can't list all the ways in which I think Mr James' tenure of this important post has served the people of Carmarthenshire badly. It makes me angry even to begin thinking abut it all"

"Mr James and his acolytes have overseen what can only be described as a "Reign of Terror" in Carmarthenshire which has not only shamed the county but disgraced Welsh local government. Walk away by all means, but on your own dime"

Mark James has acted unlawfully and should have been dismissed. He should now do the honourable thing and resign, without further payment.

Anonymous said...

If Mark James' s severence comes anywhere near close to that of Bryn Parry Jones it will almost equal the value of my property that he and certain officers have stolen. It is due to his negligence we are in the position we are in.
The likes of this individual should not receive a penny. We are well rid of him.

Redhead said...


Anonymous said...

It would appear that the message these LA's are sending out to the public is that crime really does pay. Despicable!

Anonymous said...

Before we all get too excited, his package will be subject to tax.

The first £30k is tax free, whilst the rest is taxed at 40%.

Depending on what that amounts to, it may well be smaller than his annual salary, so we manage to bin him for a years income without him causing further damage.

He is toxic and the money will have to last him, alongside whatever pension he is entitled to. If his potential employer is aware of his reputation, he may not secure employment.

It will then be a long and lonely retirement. To quote his 'christian' belief: You reap what you sow...

Bye bye James - don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Anonymous said...

Unless I am not aware of a change in this matter,anyone who leaves employment of his or her volition would not be entitled to state benefit.Can anyone explain why Mr.James therefore should be seeking any financial recompense?

Blodwen said...

I fail to see how the post of Chief Executive of a Local Authority can be redundant. There has to be a Head of Paid Service whatever title you give to the post - therefore he should not be entitled to redundancy or severance pay at all. He should be treated like any other employee; ie, tender his resignation and be given a leaving present and good luck card from the staff after a whip-round (?) and then we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief in the hope that his replacement is an improvement.

caebrwyn said...

A couple more points;
Will Mr James be insisting that his pay-off is based on his unlawfully inflated salary?
As for paying tax, there are ways of avoiding that, as Mr James has already discovered concerning the unlawful pension payments.

Redhead said...

Anyone can be titled Head of Paid Service - it does not have to be a Chief Executive. It can be a Legal Officer, Finance Officer, etc.

caebrwyn said...

Quite right Redhead. The post of chief executive is not Statutory and another senior officer can take the role of HoPS. The exception being the Monitoring Officer who cannot be the HoPS which, fortunately for us, rules out our long term acting head of legal, Linda Rees Jones from getting the role.
The lay member of the Audit Committee, Sir David Lewis recently described the council's internal legal advice as 'cavalier at best, incompetent at worst'.
One of the reasons why the ruling junta would not accept the unlawfulness of the pension and libel payments was that both the Monitoring officer and the Head of Resources are supposed to ensure lawfulness, fairness and financial prudence in decision making....'only following orders' is no defence.