Minister wants ‘swift action’ from Caerphilly over damning report
2:27pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Gwent news
CARL Sargeant, Welsh minister for local government, is demanding swift action from Caerphilly council to deal with a damning Wales Audit Office report that deemed pay rises for top staff unlawful.
Mr Sargeant said the public should be able to see that decisions of this magnitude are taken in a transparent way and are subject to proper scrutiny.
In a written statement to AMs he said: "It is totally out of keeping with these principles for any such decisions to appear to be taken 'behind closed doors’.
"I will be contacting the leader of Caerphilly Council today to ask him what action the Council plans to take. I am seeking an assurance that the Council will take swift action to deal with the recommendations in the report and that this situation will not be repeated.
"I am very concerned that legal advice given within the local authority has been deemed unlawful. I expect a prompt response.”
However a Plaid Cymru source dismissed the statement as "lame" and said Labour were on the run with the story, after an urgent question from Gwent AM Jocelyn Davies was turned down.
"They know we were on their case and this statement is damage limitation, knowing well they couldn't get away with staying silent on the matter," the source said.