Carmarthenshire County Council refuse to accept Wales Audit Office findings

South Wales Guardian: FLASHPOINT: The Wales Audit Office reports sparked a heated debate. FLASHPOINT: The Wales Audit Office reports sparked a heated debate.

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council have today voted to "note" the Wales Audit Office public interest report into a libel indemnity granted to Chief Executive Mark James.

An amendment to 'accept' the Wales Audit Office findings was rejected by a vote of 41 to 28, following precisely along party lines.

A heated debate, in which all councillors were ordered by their respective parties to attend the chamber, saw members of the ruling Labour and independent group coalition defending the decision to approve a move to use taxpayer funds to cover Mr James's legal costs in his Hugh Court legal battle with Llanwrda blogger Jacqui Thompson.

The WAO had decreed the decision 'unlawful'.

Today's motion agreed to withdraw the indemnity from future legal cases 'pending further legal clarification'.

Another debate, this afternoon, regarding a second public interest report into the granting of a pension 'pay supplement' will be followed by a vote of no confidence in leader Kevin Madge, deputy leader Pam Palmer and former leader Meryl Gravell.

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