A COUNCIL'S interim leader has apologised to the Cardiff City Region for any inconvenience it has been caused, after her predecessor stepped down after the Wales Audit Office (WAO) raised issues regarding his interest in a company.

Caerphilly County Borough Council’s former leader Cllr David Poole, resigned last month and referred himself to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales following allegations that he failed to properly declare his interests in a firm.

The council’s interim leader Cllr Barbara Jones issued the apology at a Cardiff Capital Region City Deal (CCR) cabinet meeting today.

Cllr Jones said: “I would like to apologise to all members of the committee for any inconvenience that may have been caused to you by the actions of a member of Caerphilly council.”

In the meeting, the cabinet members of CCR were asked to consider and approve proposals to address issues found in relation to registration of member’s interests, as a result of this breach.

The report presented to the committee made clear that neither the CCR officers, the regional cabinet nor the accountable body’s monitoring officer were made aware of the issue until a declaration was made during a city deal cabinet briefing.

The Wales Audiot Office had sent letters to the council and the City Deal Office.

The CCR includes the 10 authorities in South East Wales and aims to bring about significant economic growth in the region through investment, upskilling and improved physical and digital connectivity. As a member, Caerphilly's leader sits on the CCR cabinet.

Caerphilly council’s interim chief executive Christina Harrhy said the authority had dealt with the issues promptly and robustly and was working with the WAO to address them.

Cllr Jones said that she fully endorsed the recommendations in the report, which included training sessions for the committee on the code of conduct.

The chairman of the committee, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council’s leader, Cllr Andrew Morgan said he fully accepted the suggestions from the WAO.

The recommendations were approved by cabinet.