HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition urging Caerphilly councillors not to provide further funding for the ongoing senior officer pay row.

Councillors will vote on proposals to allocate an extra £242,000 towards the salary for former chief executive Anthony O’Sullivan and the investigation into the dispute.

More than 800 people have signed the petition calling for an immediate conclusion of the investigation, which has cost taxpayers around £4.1 million since it began in 2013.

“It’s frustrating that it’s been going on for so long and council taxpayers feel that’s unacceptable,” said Simone Greenwood, the Wattsville resident behind the petition.

“I think the fact that we’ve got the amount of signatures we’ve got in just a few days shows the depth of feeling in the county.

“I understand there has to be a process, and I’ve got nothing against the leadership, but it just seems ridiculous that our money is being wasted while public services are being cut elsewhere.”

Caerphilly council leader David Poole has recently spoken of his own “frustration” at being “bound by statutory process” to see the investigation through.

But Independent councillor Nigel Dix said Cllr Poole had to take “political responsibility” and resign from his post.

“This has gone on for long enough and I think the general public are fed up of hearing the leader saying how his hands are tied and how the investigation is a fait accompli,” he said.

Cllr Poole, then a cabinet member, was part of the senior remuneration committee which approved the contentious pay structure in September 2012.

A report by the Wales Audit Office said that the pay rises were “unlawful” because the meeting had not been properly advertised, that officers due to benefit from the new structure were present and that no declarations of interest were made.

Mr O’Sullivan remains on special leave having been initially suspended alongside his deputy Nigel Barnett and head of legal services Daniel Perkins.

Charge of misconduct were dropped before trial, with Caerphilly council agreeing to pay-outs of £171,000 and £127,000 for Mr Barnett and Mr Perkins last year.

But the authority has yet to reach an agreement with Mr O’Sullivan, with the head of the investigation estimating that it will take until March 2019 at the earliest to resolve the issue.

Cllr Dix, other Independent councillors and Plaid Cymru councillors are all expected to vote against the additional payment at a council meeting on Thursday, December 13.