Plaid leader calls for cuts to Caerphilly cabinet

South Wales Argus: RETIRING: Harry Andrews is to stand down as leader of the authority on May 8. RETIRING: Harry Andrews is to stand down as leader of the authority on May 8.

THE opposition group on Labour-led Caerphilly council has called for the number of cabinet members to be cut when leader Harry Andrews retires.

Councillor Andrews MBE announced last week that he is to formally stand down as leader of the authority on May 8 to spend more time with his family and pursue personal interests. The council’s deputy leader Keith Reynolds said his retirement was “a sad day for Caerphilly county borough”.

His successor will be elected by councillors when they meet for their Labour group Annual General Meeting on May 6.

But Cllr Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group in Caerphilly, said the resignation of Cllr Andrews provided the perfect opportunity to reduce the cabinet membership from 10 to save money.

Cllr Mann said: “Reducing the number of cabinet members by one would save around another £40,000 when national insurance and other costs are also taken into account.

“When they came to power in 2012, Labour added another member to the cabinet structure. The resignation of Cllr Andrews provides the perfect opportunity to reduce administrative costs.

“Times are very difficult for residents, council tax has increased by 3.9 per cent, public toilets have been closed and people are being asked to pay to park in country parks. So it is only right that sacrifices should be made at the top.

“There is no justification for keeping cabinet numbers at 10 – the council can function perfectly well at nine which the last Plaid administration did.”

A Caerphilly Labour councillors’ spokesman said: “The Nationalists’ estimates of potential savings are wildly inflated. And recent Wales Audit Office criticisms have shown the last, Plaid Cymru-controlled, administration in Caerphilly did not function ‘perfectly well’ with a nine-member cabinet.”

Cllr Reynolds added: “It’s about time Cllr Colin Mann stopped trying to cover up his own failings while in office, and started coming up with serious ideas for protecting our vital public services.

“Labour’s leading the way on this. The Nationalists are nowhere to be seen - again.”

Last week, the Labour group dismissed Plaid’s demand for the car parking charges at Caerphilly council country parks to be rescinded, calling it “political opportunism”.

Cllr Andrews, who has held his current post for the past two years, said the authority has protected front-line services in the face of “unprecedented” UK Government cuts, and has invested £200 million to upgrade all 11,000 council homes by 2020.

But his retirement ends a highly difficult tenure – with three senior officers including the chief executive facing criminal charges of misconduct.

Michael Anthony O’Sullivan, 55, of Merthyr Tydfil, Nigel Barnett, 51, of Aberbargoed, and Daniel Perkins, 48, of Brynmawr, are each charged with misconduct in public office between June 1, 2012 and October, 10, 2012.

The case, at Bristol Magistrates Court last week, was sent to crown court and the three, charged with preventing proper scrutiny of the senior officer pay award, were granted bail until their next appearance in May.

Comments (2)

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8:33pm Wed 30 Apr 14

L. Turner says...

Councilor Reynolds repeats his claim that Plaid have nothing to offer, but if we look at Councilor Reynolds own contribution to Caerphilly what do we find? Councilor Reynolds cabinet member for resources or the money Caerphilly spends.

His first act was
To give an extra £100,000 allowances to Labour councilors
He awarded £207,000 to senior managers illegally
He gave £210,000 car and holiday payment to forty senior managers
He gave £5,000,000 in living wage awards
He cut £11,000,000 from services
This year he gave another £2,000,000 to the living wage award
He then cut £14.800,000 additionally from services
He has paid £300,00 pa using our money for Osullivan, Barnet and Perkins to hag around the house on full pay
He has refused to get our money back taken illegally by senior managers
Reynolds has refused to cut the bloated staff numbers of Caerphilly preferring to cut services and refuse any and all offers of help
Finally he has raised council tax three times the rate of inflation

For this man to claim to be in charge is the worse kind of hypocrisy and deception, This man has failed to protect the public of Caerphilly from the collective corruption of senior managers of Caerphilly.

Yet this amn wants to be the next leader of Caerphilly, I say GOD help us if this ever happens, As chair of the pay review body he holds full responsibility for the loss of our money, as cabinet member for resources he has been a total failure, Councilor Reynolds far from being the answer to the problems facing Caerphilly YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

Lew


He has consistently r
Councilor Reynolds repeats his claim that Plaid have nothing to offer, but if we look at Councilor Reynolds own contribution to Caerphilly what do we find? Councilor Reynolds cabinet member for resources or the money Caerphilly spends. His first act was To give an extra £100,000 allowances to Labour councilors He awarded £207,000 to senior managers illegally He gave £210,000 car and holiday payment to forty senior managers He gave £5,000,000 in living wage awards He cut £11,000,000 from services This year he gave another £2,000,000 to the living wage award He then cut £14.800,000 additionally from services He has paid £300,00 pa using our money for Osullivan, Barnet and Perkins to hag around the house on full pay He has refused to get our money back taken illegally by senior managers Reynolds has refused to cut the bloated staff numbers of Caerphilly preferring to cut services and refuse any and all offers of help Finally he has raised council tax three times the rate of inflation For this man to claim to be in charge is the worse kind of hypocrisy and deception, This man has failed to protect the public of Caerphilly from the collective corruption of senior managers of Caerphilly. Yet this amn wants to be the next leader of Caerphilly, I say GOD help us if this ever happens, As chair of the pay review body he holds full responsibility for the loss of our money, as cabinet member for resources he has been a total failure, Councilor Reynolds far from being the answer to the problems facing Caerphilly YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. Lew He has consistently r L. Turner
  • Score: 2

12:05pm Thu 1 May 14

Realist UK says...

I totally agree with the above post. If anyone submitted the Caerphilly Authority Labour Groups handling of their budget as an idea for a TV programme it would have to classed as a black comedy as its content would be considered too far-fetched for reality. I suggest Harry Andrews plays the part of David Brent, Cllr Reynolds his side-kick Gareth. The Office (Caerphilly edition)
I totally agree with the above post. If anyone submitted the Caerphilly Authority Labour Groups handling of their budget as an idea for a TV programme it would have to classed as a black comedy as its content would be considered too far-fetched for reality. I suggest Harry Andrews plays the part of David Brent, Cllr Reynolds his side-kick Gareth. The Office (Caerphilly edition) Realist UK
  • Score: 1

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