‘Councillors will be judged at the ballot box’ – Jonathan Edwards MP

Councillors in Carmarthenshire today gathered for an Extraordinary meeting of the Council to discuss the two Wales Audit Office reports which branded council decisions to be ‘unlawful.

Councillors voted to “note” the report on the libel indemnity costs of the Chief Executive, Mr James, and to “accept” the report on the pay supplement award to the Chief Executive.  Both of these decisions, branded ‘unlawful’ by the Wales Audit Office, have resulted in over £55,000 of taxpayers’ money being used for the benefit of the Council’s most senior officer.

Responding to today’s events, Jonathan Edwards MP said the Labour party and its councillors will be judged at the ballot box for their votes today.

 

Carmarthen East & Dinefwr Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards said:

“When the Wales Audit Office reports were published almost a month ago, the Labour and Independent executive were intent on challenging the report findings and disputing the lawfulness of granting an indemnity to the Chief Executive.

“Today, having been dragged kicking and screaming, the Council has voted to remove the indemnity from its constitution.  This is something both I and Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM have pushed in Westminster and the Assembly for the best part of four years, and we’re very pleased with that achievement.

“The Council did not, however, vote to withdraw the indemnity already granted to the Chief Executive.  I believe the Council could still be liable for any costs which may not be recovered.

“The people of Carmarthenshire will find it deeply regrettable that the Labour and Independent councillors have shown no remorse today on their decision to spend the best part of £30,000 of taxpayers’ money for the benefit of the chief executive’s legal costs.

“It was clear during the meeting that Councillors didn’t vote with their conscience, but along party lines.  They have not represented their electorate today.   Members of the public, who are absolutely furious with the council leadership for these unlawful decisions, will not forgive the 41 councillors for how they voted.

“Particular attention should be paid to the way in which Councillor Peter Hughes Griffiths – leader of the opposition group on the council – has conducted himself throughout this process.  He has demonstrated strong leadership in standing up for county taxpayers.

“The council is bereft of leadership and Plaid Cymru can have no confidence in an administration that spends tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money unlawfully and shows no remorse.  The Labour party and their councillors will be judged at the ballot box for their actions today in defending these unlawful decisions.”

ENDS

One Response to “‘Councillors will be judged at the ballot box’ – Jonathan Edwards MP” [latest first]

  1. I am not a Plaid voter but I believe that PHG has behaved impeccably during this car crash. having listened to the debate today the only socialist sentiment was expressed by Plaid representatives. how a Labour administration could ever facilitate a tax dodge by one of the best paid people in the county amazes me.

    In relation to the libel indemnity it seems to me that the executive are simply driven by spite. it is because of Mrs Thompson that the meetings are televised and I believe that we have a lot to thank her for.

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