Tuesday 6 January 2015

Mark James' severance deal could be worth £446,000, the Western Mail reports

The Western Mail (WalesOnline) reports this evening on the possible options for the council to consider when deciding the size and nature of Mr James' severance deal.
The deal is due to be discussed by full council but whether this will be at next week's meeting is not yet known.
I'm sure there will be more developments and comment on this subject in the coming weeks although "resigning without a payoff" seems to me to be the only option worth considering.
You never know, the ruling Labour group on the council may have finally realised that agreeing to any further demands from Mr James will not be a popular move in the run up to the general election....

Here's the full piece with links as they appear in the article;

Carmarthenshire council could pay chief executive Mark James a severance deal worth £446,000, it emerges 
By Martin Shipton 
A council chief executive who was deemed by the Wales Audit Office to have received unlawful payments may be in line for a severance package which could cost the authority £446,000. 
It emerged in September that Mark James has applied for a package that would see him leave Carmarthenshire County Council more than a year after Anthony Barrett, the Assistant Auditor General for Wales, ruled that payments made to him directly instead of to a local authority pension fund were unlawful. 
Mr Barrett also ruled in a public interest report that the council had acted unlawfully by funding a libel claim Mr James won against blogger Jacqui Thompson. Together the two sums amount to more than £50,000. 
Wales Online understands there are 10 possible options the council has been presented with in relation to its employment of Mr James. 
It is understood he has asked for severance to take effect from April 1 2015, the first day of a new tax year. But the council’s severance scheme ends on March 31. 
It has been calculated that Mr James would be entitled to a payoff of £130,000. But pension payments would take the total cost to the council up to £446,000. 
(Related article; Petition to block Carmarthenshire council chief's severance pay gains momentum
Another possibility would involve discretionary compensation outside the severance scheme to Mr James. This could involve a discount to his pension and cost the council £230,000. 
End of employment on ill health grounds is not seen as a viable option. 
If there were a bona fide restructuring exercise undertaken and the post of chief executive was deemed redundant, Mr James would be entitled to redundancy pay and a pension. 
This is a statutory obligation with no negotiation. The chief executive would get £130,000 redundancy. The “actuarial strain” would be £315,000, also leading to a total cost to the council of £446,000. 
A negotiated settlement agreement on different terms is another possibility. 
Other options include Mr James remaining in post or resigning without a pay-off. 
The council’s assistant chief executive Paul Thomas said: “We are currently in the process of considering the severance applications, with a view to releasing eligible applicants at the end of March 2015. This is in accordance with our agreed severance scheme and timetable.”


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The clue is in the text - "compensation is a statutory obligation and is not negotiable".
The petitition is, therefore, pointless.
What a petition should be demanding is that these "statutory obligations" should be reviewed/amended in the case of these overpaid public servants.