Call for suspension of chief officers

An AM has called for a suspension of chief council officers and an investigation into the salaries and pensions of council bosses by all councillors in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.

Mid and West AM Simon Thomas asked an emergency question in the Senedd about the salaries and pensions of senior council officers in light of the damning Wales Audit Office reports into Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire Council.

Mr Thomas said: “In light of the Wales Audit Office reports specifically on Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire and the unlawful payments made, chief officers should be suspended until a full council investigation takes place. I demanded the Local Government Minister supported this proposal and asked her to call for this action publicly.

“The governance and scrutiny of senior officers’ remuneration is central to securing public trust in their councils.

“Scrutiny committees and auditors must review these reports and ensure that the spirit as well as the letter of the law has been followed."

He added: “I called for the Welsh Government to apply the rules to those practices that have allowed creative accounting measures from some chief officers to fill their boots such as deferred pension arrangements, car leasing, and other perks.”

The Local Government Minister said she could not comment on the audit reports because the police are liaising with the CPS.

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