Plaid Cymru has launched a scathing attack on Carmarthenshire County Council following the decision of chief executive Mark James to withdraw his application for severance.

The authority announced on Wednesday that Mr James had agreed to “stay on at the council for the time being” despite submitting an application for a pay-off deal last October.

The decision came in the wake of leading Labour figures in the council telling the Guardian they would reject any deal which saw Mr James walking away from County Hall with a substantial pay-off after it emerged that the authority would have faced costs of up to £446,000 to agree a leaving package.

Responding to the latest announcement, MP Jonathan Edwards said Carmarthenshire need to undergo “a political reboot” to avoid becoming “a zombie council” under the control of a chief executive “wanting to leave”.

"Plaid Cymru has worked hard over the past two years to curb senior officer pay and to try and put a stop eye-watering golden goodbyes.

“The joint statement from the leaders of the Labour and Independent parties in Carmarthenshire, however, suggests they are happy for county taxpayers to continue to pay for one of Wales’s highest paid council officers.

"Carmarthenshire is at risk of having a zombie council.

“The Council is in desperate need of a political reboot.

AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas added: “In light of Pembrokeshire Council reducing the salary of its new chief executive by some £60,000, residents in Carmarthenshire will be wondering whether they are getting value for money by employing one of the highest paid officers in Wales despite him indicating his desire to leave the job.”