'Cost of Caerphilly pay rise fiasco rocketing' - Plaid

Campaign Series: PAY RISE ROW: Caerphilly council chief executive Anthony O’Sullivan PAY RISE ROW: Caerphilly council chief executive Anthony O’Sullivan

THE cost of suspending its top two bosses over the pay fiasco continues to rack up for Caerphilly council and will rise to hundreds of thousands of pounds, according to the opposition Plaid Cymru group.

It made a Freedom of Information request to the local authority, which showed £170,000 has already been spent on top of the £314,000 set aside to pay the wages of chief executive Anthony O’Sullivan and his deputy, Nigel Barnett.

Mr O’Sullivan has been suspended since March, when he was arrested on suspicion of fraud and misconduct in public office after huge pay rises were awarded to 21 senior officials at the authority.

This followed the chief executive awarding himself a rise from £132,000 to £158,000, a move that caused uproar as most staff had been on a two-year pay freeze.

The rises were given in September last year, with Mr O’Sullivan accepting a compromise rise of £5,000 after these came to light in November.

He was arrested and is now on bail as an Avon and Somerset Police investigation continues, with his deputy, Nigel Barnett, also arrested over the same allegation in July, and he is now also suspended.

While £314,000 was set aside to pay their wages as police officers continue to probe the wage hikes, former chief executive Stuart Rosser agreed to return and steer the ship in July. While he has returned for an initial six-month period, working 3.5 hours a week, the outlay will amount to £45,000 for that period and £90,000 if he stays on for a year.

The FOI made by a Plaid supporter shows that lawyers Geldards have charged the authority £40,341 plus VAT for legal advice since last September, while the cost of seconding audit expert Gill Lewis, from the Aneurin Bevan Health Board is around £20,000 for 40 days’ work, although this could be extended. The local authority has paid a further £19,782.72 so far to officers taking on more senior roles following the suspensions.

Leader of the Plaid group on Caerphilly council Colin Mann said: “The information shows just how the top officers’ pay scandal is continuing to impact on council tax-payers and the costs are likely to continuing to grow substantially in the coming months.”

A council spokesman said: “Police investigations into the senior pay issue are ongoing and we have put appropriate temporary measures in place to allow the effective running while these continue.”

Comments (4)

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2:48pm Wed 4 Sep 13

whatintheworld says...

the ONLY acceptable outcome here is prosecution
the ONLY acceptable outcome here is prosecution whatintheworld

2:57pm Wed 4 Sep 13

Woodgnome says...

WAG needs to get a grip of this out of control Labour Council. This is public money being squandered at a time of serious cut backs.
WAG needs to get a grip of this out of control Labour Council. This is public money being squandered at a time of serious cut backs. Woodgnome

8:19pm Wed 4 Sep 13

Realist UK says...

How many people who have worked for the local authority have experienced the (sometimes) rough justice of dismissal by the HR department on flimsy evidence backed up by a technicality? These pair are bang-to-rights and still cost us money when they should be sacked immediately. I'm sure that the other CCBC officers who benefited from these rises will also find themselves in a similar position of investigation in the not too distant future.
How many people who have worked for the local authority have experienced the (sometimes) rough justice of dismissal by the HR department on flimsy evidence backed up by a technicality? These pair are bang-to-rights and still cost us money when they should be sacked immediately. I'm sure that the other CCBC officers who benefited from these rises will also find themselves in a similar position of investigation in the not too distant future. Realist UK

1:24pm Thu 5 Sep 13

Cwmderi says...

Why are we not surprised that the Senior Labour councillors who form the Council Cabinet-Executive have not popped their heads above the parapet and have simply kept their heads down whilst these senior officers have been hung out to dry in the full gaze of the media.
It has come to light that they (the Cabinet) discussed these vast pay rises behind closed doors and without detailed minutes being taken of the proceedings even before it went to the secret (illegal) meeting of the remuneration panel on which four of these cabinet members also sat..
It might well have been officers who made the recommendations for the vast salary increases but it is clear that these same Labour cabinet members took the decision and supported the increases.
If they have any honour whatsoever, they should do the decent thing and resign from the "Rotten Council" that they have created in just 15 months in office.
These same Cabinet members cost the local council-tax payers around £400,000 a year in salaries and expenses, yet they fail to take any responsibility for for their actions and failings in running the council.
Enough is enough.
Why are we not surprised that the Senior Labour councillors who form the Council Cabinet-Executive have not popped their heads above the parapet and have simply kept their heads down whilst these senior officers have been hung out to dry in the full gaze of the media. It has come to light that they (the Cabinet) discussed these vast pay rises behind closed doors and without detailed minutes being taken of the proceedings even before it went to the secret (illegal) meeting of the remuneration panel on which four of these cabinet members also sat.. It might well have been officers who made the recommendations for the vast salary increases but it is clear that these same Labour cabinet members took the decision and supported the increases. If they have any honour whatsoever, they should do the decent thing and resign from the "Rotten Council" that they have created in just 15 months in office. These same Cabinet members cost the local council-tax payers around £400,000 a year in salaries and expenses, yet they fail to take any responsibility for for their actions and failings in running the council. Enough is enough. Cwmderi

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