Councillors can have say on February 27 - Kevin

CLLR KEVIN MADGE:

CLLR KEVIN MADGE: "Decisions should be delayed until extraordinary meeting on February 27."

First published in News
Last updated

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council Leader Kevin Madge has accused Plaid Cymru of pre-judging the issue on unlawful payments highlighted by the Wales Audit Office.

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, leader of the Plaid Group at County Hall, has called for Chief Executive Mark James to be suspended and said motions of no confidence will be brought against him, Cllr Madge, Cllr Meryl Gravell and Cllr Pam Palmer.

The WAO have identified two transactions involving Mr James they say were unlawful.

But, in his latest statement, Cllr Madge suggests any decisions should be delayed until the audit reports are discussed an at extraordinary meeting on February 27.

Speaking on behalf of the Executive Board, he said: "Votes of no confidence in officers or members should not, in our view, be taken without the full evidence against allegations being made known.

"As members know, we are currently circulating evidence regarding these two issues to all councillors.

As Plaid Cymru knows, we were unable to do this previously, or to discuss these issues as they were under investigation by the Wales Audit Office.

"Can Plaid Cymru not wait to be in possession of all the facts before they make their minds up, or have they already done so?

"If that is the case, sadly it will not make a difference what the evidence says as headline-grabbing and power is what they are after, not truth and justice.

"Cllr Hughes Griffiths asks us to unconditionally accept the Wales Audit Office reports. It would seem he would have us hang officers and members out to dry on evidence we strongly dispute.

"Whilst we have every respect for the Wales Audit Office we cannot blindly accept what our information contradicts.

"We accept the recommendations regarding the pension pay policy, this decision was reversed at a meeting last year.

"It is the intention of the Executive Board to accept the Wales Audit Office findings regarding this.

"However, in the matter of the indemnity we dispute some of the findings. This is what the meeting on February 27 will debate – evidence and information from both ourselves and the Wales Audit Office.

"Councillors can then make their own minds up and make their own decisions based on their findings. Until such time it is premature and extremely unfair to be calling for votes of no confidence or suspensions of any kind."

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