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New boss for failing Welsh council

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A failing north Wales council has appointed a managing director after a damning report by the Auditor General said it had a long history of being poorly run.

David Bowles will start work at Isle of Anglesey County Council with a brief to curb “a history of personality politics based around mistrust, suspicion and personal animosity”.

Local government minister Brian Gibbons said: “It desperately needs someone with strong experience in corporate recovery.

“There are very few such individuals at the best of times, and someone needs to be in post as soon as possible.”

He said that Mr Bowles, who does not speak Welsh, was appointed after a fruitless search for a Welsh-speaking candidate with equal or greater skills and experience.

Officers have been ordered to help Mr Bowles, formerly interim chief executive of Bridgend County Borough Council, deal with residents and staff who prefer to speak Welsh.

The council will be required to comply with an independent recovery board, and to stick to a scheme that sets out the roles of councillors and officers.

Isle of Anglesey County Council’s previous managing director Derrick Jones left in May after the Association of Local Authority Chief Executives (Alace) negotiated a compromise agreement that included a year’s salary.

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