Caerphilly council's temporary chief executive to stand down

Campaign Series: Stuart Rosser Stuart Rosser

CAERPHILLY council's interim chief executive will stand down from his post when his contract expires next month.

It was announced at a full council meeting tonight that Stuart Rosser would not continue in his role beyond July 23. Mr Rosser was appointed to the post in July last year with an initial six-month contract in light of criminal proceedings against top council officers. In January, it was extended for a further six months.

The position will now be advertised as an interim contract for 12 months with an option for a further year at a salary of £142,524, which is at the bottom of the arranged financial scale, despite a failed amendment to the recommendation by the opposition leader, Cllr Colin Mann, to offer less money to prospective candidates.

Mr Rosser told members tonight that personal circumstances would not allow him to continue, because he only took the role on a short-term basis.

He is seen as a popular figure among most council members and officials, many claiming he has brought stability to the authority in light of recent controversy.

Keith Reynolds, leader of the council, said: "The whole council is immensely grateful to Stuart Rosser, who has brought sound, stable leadership to our authority. His decision to return to well-earned retirement means we must recruit an outstanding candidate to steer Caerphilly council through uncertain times ahead. Council's decision today enables us to crack on with this important appointment."

Chief executive Michael Anthony O'Sullivan 55, of Merthyr Tydfil, deputy chief executive Nigel Barnett 51, of Aberbargoed, along with head of legal services Daniel Perkins 48, of Brynmawr, are each on bail charged with misconduct in public office between June 1, 2012 and October, 10, 2012.

The three, who appeared at Bristol Crown Court last month, are charged with preventing proper scrutiny of the senior officer pay award.

A provisional date of January 5, 2015, has been set for a trial if not guilty pleas are entered, but “there is always the possibility that this could slip [to a later date]”, Mr Rosser said yesterday (Tue).

Avon and Somerset Police began investigating Mr O’Sullivan and Mr Barnett, currently suspended, after pay rises of up to 20 per cent were made to top council officers.

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