Opposition group calls for special audit at Caerphilly council

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THE opposition Plaid Cymru group in Caerphilly Council has called on watchdogs to carry out a special audit to ensure no other decisions were taken by the authority’s officers without the knowledge of councillors.

The appeal was made to Anthony Barrett of the Wales Audit Office, whose Public Interest report last week revealed some council officers pushed through an essential car and annual allowances deal without it ever being presented to councillors - a decision the report deemed was unlawful.

It followed a previous report on the senior officers’ pay scandal which again said the way pay had been awarded was unlawful.

In a letter to Mr Barrett this week, Cllr Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, said he was concerned elected members did not know what was happening regarding the holiday and car allowances, and highlighted the fact that no notes were taken at one meeting as a particular point of concerm.

“The decision on allowances was then pushed through the system literally just before the council elections last year, when elected members were possibly distracted campaigning for the election," he added.

Cllr Mann said that "due to the series of issues that have now been exposed" he and his colleagues had a "great lack of confidence" in the way the affairs of the authority had been conducted.

A Caerphilly Labour party spokesman said: “We have already called for a review so we are glad Plaid Cymru is finally catching up.

“From our point of view, we too were unhappy with the decisions made, but we think those unlawful acts in making those allowances only happened as a result of the lackadaisical approach of the Plaid Cymru administration prior to May 2012."

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