War of words between Labour and Plaid ahead of Caerphilly council no confidence vote

Campaign Series: War of words ahead of Caerphilly council no confidence vote War of words ahead of Caerphilly council no confidence vote

A SCATHING war of words between Caerphilly county's two largest parties over the pay scandal broke out over the weekend after Labour claimed Plaid were trying to destroy the council.

Senior figures in the Labour group say Plaid's motion of no-confidence, due to be heard at full council tomorrow evening, is "malicious" and "a desperate distraction".

Plaid’s motion was tabled after a damning report from the Wales Audit Office in the wake of the senior officers’ pay scandal.

The withering criticism came after Plaid alleged the Labour leadership knew about the contents of reports over controversial pay rises from the council's chief executive Anthony O'Sullivan.

Plaid's Cllr Colin Mann, leader of the Caerphilly group, claimed that the leadership did nothing about it, allowing the report to go to a committee where controversial pay rises for 21 top officers were approved.

The Labour group admitted its leadership had been aware of the pay issue, but has pointed the finger back at Plaid.

Labour Cllr Keith Reynolds, deputy leader of the authority, said: "Instead of apologising for their involvement in the remuneration committee and mucking in to help, the Plaid leadership gleefully follow a 'scorched earth' policy of trying to destroy our council and its leadership for some misguided reasons of their own.

"This can only end up damaging services and hurting the people we represent."

Cllr Reynolds said he was sure the council will "roundly reject Colin Mann’s malicious motion".

He said: "Harry Andrews is the best Leader Caerphilly council's ever had. His integrity and passion for our county borough are an inspiration to the whole council."

Cllr Gerald Jones, deputy Leader of Caerphilly Council, said: "This confidence motion is a politically motivated distraction"

But Plaid's Cllr Mann said the political leadership at Caerphilly must accept responsibility for "the worst crisis since Caerphilly council was established".

"Cllr Andrews, and indeed his cabinet colleagues, were aware of the contents of the chief executive’s report and that of the Hay group before the senior remuneration panel met last September," he said.

Cllr Mann added: "How could any leader think— when many people are struggling to keep a roof over their head or put food on the table – that this was an appropriate time to approve rises of the level proposed?"

Cllr Mann said backbench Labour councillors "can help restore public confidence in this council" and "accept this episode was a disastrous failing by their leader".

He later added that the Labour party are trying to "point the finger in other places" rather than take the blame themselves – and said only one of his group had seen the report before the committee meeting at "very short notice".

A Labour group spokesman said: "The Labour group confirms that the Labour leadership was aware of the pay issue - but they have since apologised and have acted decisively to rescind the rises.

"Yet both the Plaid leader and deputy leader also knew about the pay issue in September. Why were they silent for the three months until it was reported in the press in December?"

Comments (6)

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9:11am Mon 22 Apr 13

KarmaSuitsYa says...

A SCATHING war of words between Caerphilly county's two largest parties over the pay scandal broke out over the weekend after Labour claimed Plaid were trying to destroy the council.

Really Plaid? Is this true? Wow - finally a party that represents my interests... you get my vote!!

What's that you say? You're not interested in destroying the council, only the opportunity to engage in some mudslinging down the pig pen, so you can get your own noses in the trough?

Ah. I thought it was too good to be true.

Doesn't it make you all feel a bit foolish to be publically humiliating yourselves like this? Bitchfighting to see who gets to be captain of the sinking ship? I guess the rewards must be worth it.
[quote]A SCATHING war of words between Caerphilly county's two largest parties over the pay scandal broke out over the weekend after Labour claimed Plaid were trying to destroy the council. [/quote] Really Plaid? Is this true? Wow - finally a party that represents my interests... you get my vote!! What's that you say? You're not interested in destroying the council, only the opportunity to engage in some mudslinging down the pig pen, so you can get your own noses in the trough? Ah. I thought it was too good to be true. Doesn't it make you all feel a bit foolish to be publically humiliating yourselves like this? Bitchfighting to see who gets to be captain of the sinking ship? I guess the rewards must be worth it. KarmaSuitsYa

10:17am Mon 22 Apr 13

Cwmderi says...

It's amaing that the two Deputy Leaders (why two?) who were both at the cabinet meeting when these huge rises were debated also sat on the secret panel which awarded the rises and are now trying to defend their actions by crying foul against the opposition who have brought this whole mess to the attention of the council tax payers of Caerphilly county borough, who will now have to pick up this massive bill.
What a way to run a council. If they were running a business they would be wound up with immediate effect.
For Councillors Reynalds and Jones to state that the opposition is persuing a 'scorched earth' programme is whistling in the dark. What they need to do is put the fire out and do the honourable thing and resign from their Deputy Leaderships (bit like their fomer Deputy Prime Minister). What is the purpose of two Jags for one job?
It's amaing that the two Deputy Leaders (why two?) who were both at the cabinet meeting when these huge rises were debated also sat on the secret panel which awarded the rises and are now trying to defend their actions by crying foul against the opposition who have brought this whole mess to the attention of the council tax payers of Caerphilly county borough, who will now have to pick up this massive bill. What a way to run a council. If they were running a business they would be wound up with immediate effect. For Councillors Reynalds and Jones to state that the opposition is persuing a 'scorched earth' programme is whistling in the dark. What they need to do is put the fire out and do the honourable thing and resign from their Deputy Leaderships (bit like their fomer Deputy Prime Minister). What is the purpose of two Jags for one job? Cwmderi

10:26am Mon 22 Apr 13

Trefor says...

The ignominy, disgrace, dishonour, and public contempt, of just facing a motion of no confidence, in any situation, is itself of sufficient concern, but the remarks, attributed in support of the Labour Party Leader on Caerphilly Council, in this report, by his Deputy appear to be a measure of the `contempt` the Caerphilly council administration hold the views of the huge majority of the rate paying electorate in the Borough, `simply attack the messenger` appears to be the order of the day.

It seems the `administration` are content that they owe no real meaningful explanation to the people who elect them, and to those who pay their council rates to financially support everything they do in our name.

Many thousands of the people of Caerphilly County Borough Area are waiting for an honest and complete explanation of the `dribble` of damning information coming out of the secret files of the Council in relation to the issue of the pay hike debacle, who knew what and when and who may have not been completely honest on this subject when asked about in the early days.

The Burghers of the Borough have a duty, a statutory responsibility, and a moral obligation to fully explain what happened and who knew what in relation to these and other matters in which the Council currently find themselves embroiled. A successfully carried vote of no confidence will not achieve that outcome, and the numbers do not stack up anyway to carry such a motion against the Leader of the Council, but, strong and determined scrutiny by politically honest opposition Councillors, and by members of his own party, will go some way to getting at the truth of civic issues which some people appear to be determined to bury.

This motion IS a diversion, but, it is also a measure of the opposition group on the council voicing the position of many thousands of residents of the borough, who do not have such methods to voice them themselves, it is a legitimate, compelling, and proper way to proceed in the circumstances of secretive, and, what appears to be from press reports,manipulative and dishonest proceeding by the current administration of Caerphilly Borough Council.

The Council ( The Labour Administration) HAVE to demonstrate that this is NOT the case, how they do that is up to them, but by simply attacking those asking legitimate questions, which they find difficult or impossible to answer, truthfully, will not satisfy me nor many thousands of other ratepaying residents of the Borough. And, if I and everyone else who feel the council have serious question to contemplate, have to rely of Plaid Cymru opposition Councillors to get serious answers then so be it.
The ignominy, disgrace, dishonour, and public contempt, of just facing a motion of no confidence, in any situation, is itself of sufficient concern, but the remarks, attributed in support of the Labour Party Leader on Caerphilly Council, in this report, by his Deputy appear to be a measure of the `contempt` the Caerphilly council administration hold the views of the huge majority of the rate paying electorate in the Borough, `simply attack the messenger` appears to be the order of the day. It seems the `administration` are content that they owe no real meaningful explanation to the people who elect them, and to those who pay their council rates to financially support everything they do in our name. Many thousands of the people of Caerphilly County Borough Area are waiting for an honest and complete explanation of the `dribble` of damning information coming out of the secret files of the Council in relation to the issue of the pay hike debacle, who knew what and when and who may have not been completely honest on this subject when asked about in the early days. The Burghers of the Borough have a duty, a statutory responsibility, and a moral obligation to fully explain what happened and who knew what in relation to these and other matters in which the Council currently find themselves embroiled. A successfully carried vote of no confidence will not achieve that outcome, and the numbers do not stack up anyway to carry such a motion against the Leader of the Council, but, strong and determined scrutiny by politically honest opposition Councillors, and by members of his own party, will go some way to getting at the truth of civic issues which some people appear to be determined to bury. This motion IS a diversion, but, it is also a measure of the opposition group on the council voicing the position of many thousands of residents of the borough, who do not have such methods to voice them themselves, it is a legitimate, compelling, and proper way to proceed in the circumstances of secretive, and, what appears to be from press reports,manipulative and dishonest proceeding by the current administration of Caerphilly Borough Council. The Council ( The Labour Administration) HAVE to demonstrate that this is NOT the case, how they do that is up to them, but by simply attacking those asking legitimate questions, which they find difficult or impossible to answer, truthfully, will not satisfy me nor many thousands of other ratepaying residents of the Borough. And, if I and everyone else who feel the council have serious question to contemplate, have to rely of Plaid Cymru opposition Councillors to get serious answers then so be it. Trefor

3:13pm Mon 22 Apr 13

Davi says...

I see Colin Mann trying to be the big man again and causing problems..face it Plaid you were hopeless when in charge ...now move over and shut up ...you don't represent us the residents so stop throwing the toys out of the pram..
I see Colin Mann trying to be the big man again and causing problems..face it Plaid you were hopeless when in charge ...now move over and shut up ...you don't represent us the residents so stop throwing the toys out of the pram.. Davi

4:10pm Mon 22 Apr 13

Realist UK says...

How can stating facts be considered malicious? Those responsible in public office must accept accountability for any wrongdoing and punished, whatever political party.
How can stating facts be considered malicious? Those responsible in public office must accept accountability for any wrongdoing and punished, whatever political party. Realist UK

4:55pm Mon 22 Apr 13

theviking666 says...

Cllr Mann said backbench Labour councillors "can help restore public confidence in this council" and "accept this episode was a disastrous failing by their leader". Can you see any of these voting against the party, nice idea, but can't see that happening
Cllr Mann said backbench Labour councillors "can help restore public confidence in this council" and "accept this episode was a disastrous failing by their leader". Can you see any of these voting against the party, nice idea, but can't see that happening theviking666

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