Some opposition AMs have criticised the Welsh government for not doing enough to cut the big pay packets of council chief executives.
More than five hundred parents and pupils have marched through Cwmcarn in a bid to see their school reopened after an asbestos scare.
Parents of pupils at Cwmcarn High School, closed over asbestos fears, say they believe the council wants to shut the site for good.
Caerphilly County Councillors have approved a series of budget proposals for the forthcoming year at a council meeting this evening, which will see savings across the council for 2014/15 in excess of £14.2 million pounds.
Councillors also approved plans for a 3.9% increase in Council Tax, which in monetary terms equates to a 69 pence per week increase for a Band D property in Caerphilly county borough.
Members also supported plans to further increase the Living Wage by an additional 20 pence per hour, which will ensure that thousands of the council?s lowest paid staff earn at least £7.65 an hour, an increase of 20 pence from £7.45 as currently.
A report into governance failings at Caerphilly County Borough Council says things have improved but more work needs to be done.
The council says it welcomes the findings by the Auditor General for Wales and will act on its recommendations.
The report points to a number of factors that led to failings claiming the appointment of a new chief executive in 2010 led to "a greater appetite for risk and pressure". There were also weaknesses in the way business cases were prepared and in the transparency of reports.
Governance failings at the council were caused by a combination of weaknesses and, while the authority is improving now, it is too early to tell if this progress can be sustained is the conclusion of the special inspection report published today.
The report makes 8 recommendations for improvement, including calls for the council to:
Clarify in an understandable way, the governance and decision-making roles of - the Cabinet; Chief Executive; Corporate Management team; Corporate Directors; scrutiny committees and Audit Committee.
Ensure that it maintains appropriate documents of all decisions made and by whom, to provide assurance that decisions made are appropriate and transparent and strengthen risk management processes.
Caerphilly County Borough Council is hoping to bring the christmas cheer to around 800 children across the county. Volunteers are helping to sort, wrap and distribute over 2,500 parents today and tomorrow.
Operation Santa is being supported by homelessness charities Llamau, Action for Children, Home-Start and Gofal Cymru, who have nominated children to receive gifts.
Two men arrested yesterday as part of a probe into wage rises at Caerphilly Council have been released on police bail.
The chief executive Anthony O'Sullivan and another local authority employee were arrested on suspicion of fraud and misconduct in public office.
They were questioned by Avon and Somerset police following allegations that "secret" pay rises were awarded to 21 council bosses.
Sandra Aspinall, Acting Deputy Chief Executive of Caerphilly County Borough Council says she will now take responsibility for the authority.
– Sandra Aspinall, Acting Deputy Chief Executive of Caerphilly County Borough Council
We have been informed by Avon and Somerset Police that two members of staff have been released on police bail.
As Acting Deputy Chief Executive I will assume responsibility for leading the organisation until further discussions take place.
I want to send a clear message to the community that it is very much ‘business as usual’ at Caerphilly County Borough Council.
We will continue to concentrate our efforts on delivering quality services to residents and these recent events will not affect our commitment to this goal.
The chief executive of Caerphilly County Council has been arrested on suspicion of fraud and misconduct in public office.
Anthony O'Sullivan and another local authority employee are being questioned by Avon and Somerset police.
The arrests come amid allegations that "secret" pay rises were awarded to 21 council bosses.
An Avon and Somerset Constabulary spokesman said: "Following a request to carry out a review by the Wales Audit Office two people have been arrested on suspicion of fraud and misconduct in public office.
"They currently remain in police custody where they are being questioned. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."
Sources close to the probe have confirmed that O'Sullivan is one of the pair being quizzed.
He hit the headlines late last year when his salary rose from £132,000 to £158,000, at a time when the bulk of the council's staff were on the third year of a pay freeze.
Following a public outcry, the rises were shelved in January and O'Sullivan's increase fell from from £26,000 to £5,000.
In a statement Caerphilly council confirmed it was aware of the latest development, "We have been advised by the police it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage, but we will continue to co-operate fully with the ongoing investigation".
Two men have been arrested as part of an investigation into wage rises at Caerphilly Borough Council.
A police investigation was launched after it was revealed that pay rises for 21 top officers would cost council taxpayers £1.5m over the next four years.
Avon and Somerset Police were called in by the Wales Audit Office to carry out an investigation.
"Following a request to carry out a review two people have been arrested on suspicion of fraud and misconduct in public office. They currently remain in police custody where they are being questioned. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage," a spokesman said.
Caerphilly Council would not name the individuals arrested but say they are aware of the situation:
“We were informed this morning that two senior council employees have been arrested and are being interviewed.
"We have been advised by the police it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage, but we will continue to co-operate fully with the ongoing investigation”
Caerphilly County Borough Council has issued a statement following a recent report by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) that suggested the level of asbestos at Cwmcarn High School was lower than previously thought.
The building is a pre-1960s construction and therefore contains large amounts of asbestos material.
Also, the current general condition of the school is very poor (the school has a ‘D Rating’ according to the Welsh Government’s School Condition Survey in 2010 and is in the worst condition of all schools in the county borough), so alongside the ongoing asbestos problems, there is also a considerable repair and maintenance backlog which needs to be addressed at the site.
The council argues there is "inconsistency" in the methods used by asbestos experts involved in compiling the reports seen so far.
It says "large quantities" of asbestos are present throughout the school site, particularly in the roof voids and ceiling.
The Council’s position on this matter has been clear throughout. Our priority is the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff at the school and any increased risk is a matter for concern and is taken very seriously.
Our decisive steps to close the school on an interim basis for further investigation to be undertaken back in October demonstrated our commitment to protect the whole school community.
Separate to the ongoing HSE investigation into asbestos management at the school, a further report has been undertaken by HSL on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive.
– Caerphilly County Borough Council
Once we have the results of the new management survey, a report will be presented to the Council with options for consideration.
No decision about the re-occupation of the Cwmcarn site can be made until this options appraisal is fully considered.