Gwent AM’s ‘astonishment’ as Caerphilly pay question refused
1:36pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Campaign news
A GWENT AM expressed her astonishment after an urgent Assembly question over pay rises for top Caerphilly council staff was refused.
A Wales Audit Office report published today said the pay rises were unlawful.
Plaid AM Jocelyn Davies had hoped to ask Carl Sargeant, who is today taking questions in the Senedd in his capacity as minister for local government, to make a statement on the report this afternoon.
But the National Assembly confirmed that Rosemary Butler, presiding officer and Newport West AM, had turned down the request.
A spokesman would not elaborate on why.
It is possible, however, that AMs could bring up the matter in the course of the local government question session.
Ms Davies, who serves as a regional AM for South Wales East, said: “It is astonishing that an urgent question on a matter of public interest was refused by the Presiding Officer.
"In his report, the Assistant Auditor General said he believes it ‘important that the public has full and proper awareness of the events concerning Caerphilly County Borough Council.’ "An opportunity to raise this on the floor of the Assembly would have aided this.
“The Welsh Government are making public statements on Caerphilly council. If the Government are prepared to comment in this to the media, then why should democratically elected representatives be denied the opportunity to pursue this with the Minister directly?"