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Chief goes after no confidence vote

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Pembrokeshire CC chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones is to leave the authority after councillors agreed to a pay-off which sources claim to be worth £330,000.

The settlement was agreed yesterday at a full council meeting which was understood to record 29 members voting in favour of the move and 23 voting against it. Eight councillors were absent during the vote.

The deal was drawn up after councillors last month passed a motion of no confidence in the chief executive following a series of controversies.

These were sparked by an allegation in a Wales Audit Office report in January that Mr Parry-Jones had received an unlawful pension supplement.

Two police investigations into this allegation found no evidence of criminal behaviour by Mr Parry-Jones.

Jamie Adams (Independent Plus), leader of Pembrokeshire CC indicated the relationship between councillors and Mr Parry-Jones had become “largely untenable”.

“Bringing that to a conclusion I think will be well acceptable to the people of Pembrokeshire,” he told the BBC this week.

Labour group leader Paul Miller told LGC the settlement’s size was “out of kilter with the lives of the people we represent”.

And Jacob Williams (Unaffiliated Independent) condemned it as “excessive”, adding that a disciplinary process which had been in progress should have been allowed to run its course.

Mr Parry-Jones is one of the longest serving chief executives in UK, having held the top job since Pembrokeshire was formed in 1996. Before that he had been chief executive at the former Llanelli BC.

Pembrokeshire’s statement of accounts for 2013-14 showed Mr Parry-Jones was paid £193,136 in salary and £11,659 in benefits in kind, putting him among the UK’s highest paid chief executives.

A council statement said Pembrokeshire would “put in place interim arrangements for the management of the council and commence the process of putting in place more permanent arrangements”.

The authority refused to confirm the size of the pay-off.

Any recruitment of a new chief executive may be complicated by the Welsh Government’s intention to see the council merged with Ceredigion CC under its reorganisation plans, despite the latter having rejected the idea.

 

 

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