A SENIOR member of Caerphilly County Borough Council who was caught up in the pay increase row is quitting as corporate director of social services to take on a newrole with the Welsh Government – and more could follow, claims a Welsh Assembly Member.

Albert Heaney has been appointed the Welsh Government’s new director of social services, children and families.

An announcement of the news is made on the Welsh Government website, with Mr Heaney saying he is “delighted” to be taking up the new post.

Mr Heaney was one of the 20 chief officers given a large pay rise of up to 27 per cent which caused a storm of protests by council workers and the public.

Some of the authority’s 9,800 employees have had their pay frozen for the last three years, and more than 600 angry staff walked out on December 17 to protest against the pay rises.

Plaid Cymru AM Lindsay Whittle, a former leader of the authority, has warned that more chief officers may quit Caerphilly County Borough Council in the wake of the furore.

Mr Whittle said: “I congratulate Mr Heaney on his new role. He may not be the last chief officer to bail out of the council with morale at rock bottom. A bad taste has been left in many people’s mouths by the Labour leadership’s ‘fat cat’ pay debacle and this will take a long while to dissipate.

“The way Labour is running the council is an absolute shambles – the residents know it, council workers know it and even Labour councillors know it. Many people who supported Labour at the last council election are already discovering and nowregretting the consequences of their actions.”

Labour councillors have apologised for the pay rises and the council’s leadership said it would take legal advice on whether or not it was possible to revoke the award.

Independent councillor calls for rise award probe

A CAERPHILLY independent councillor is calling for an investigation into how large pay rises to senior staff were awarded.

The Argus reported last month that 20 chief officers received pay rises of up to 30 per cent which caused a storm of protests by council workers and the public.

Labour bosses have since apologised and are seeking legal advice to see if they can reverse the decision.

Independent councillor Anne Blackman said: “I am confused as to why both political parties haven’t suggested setting up a committee of councillors to see what has gone wrong.”