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Row over pay rise for interim chief

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A troubled council is seeking an interim chief executive for one year at £11,000 more than the incumbent is paid.

The move by Labour-controlled Caerphilly CBC is rare. Most chief executive appointments are at rates slightly below those of their predecessors.

Stuart Rosser retired as Caerphilly’s chief in 2010 but returned temporarily last year following the suspension of his successor Anthony O’Sullivan, and some other senior officers.

Mr O’Sullivan, his deputy Nigel Barnett and head of legal Daniel Perkins, have been charged with misconduct in public office.

Caerphilly has now advertised the interim chief’s post at £142,000, as Mr Rosser will leave next month.

This has provoked criticism from the opposition Plaid Cymru group, whose leader Colin Mann said: “Stuart Rosser was prepared to accept a salary equivalent to £131,000 a year and I fail to see why Labour is quite happy to up the pay of a new interim chief executive.

“I believe the salary at £131,000 a year – far higher than some council chief executives – is sufficient to attract good quality candidates.”

A council spokesman said Mr Rosser could have been paid £142,000 but chose to receive only £131,000, the same salary he was paid when he retired in 2010.

“The job is being advertised at the salary agreed by the council,” he said.

A council statement said: “Continued improvement will require strong leadership [and] interim management arrangements are anticipated to be required for another year or so”.

Mr Rosser said: “I believe that my original objective – which was to help stabilise the authority – has been fulfilled.

“I therefore feel confident that the organisation is now ‘back on track’ and it is the right time for me to move on and allow someone else to help take the authority forward.”

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