1. ITV Report

Caerphilly Council's Chief Executive suspended after pay rise row

Anthony O'Sullivan has been suspended as chief executive Photo: ITV News Wales

The Chief Executive of Caerphilly council has been suspended following a report by the Wales Audit Office (WAO) that found his £27,000 pay rise was unlawful.

The WAO said they had discovered a number of issues with how the decision was carried out.

In a statement the council said that following discussions with the Leader, that it had been decided he should be suspended pending the outcome of the investigations.

In the circumstances the Chief Executive has recognised the difficulty that this creates in terms of him fulfilling his responsibilities as Head of Paid Service, and that his continued attendance at work during this period would not be appropriate. He has agreed, following discussions with the Leader, to be suspended from his duties pending the outcome of these investigations.

– Caerphilly county borough council statement

On Wednesday, Gwent Police referred the matter to Avon & Somerset Police to complete an investigation.

That decision was taken following the publishing of a report by the WAO on Wednesday that found pay rises made to senior members of staff at Caerphilly County Borough Council were "unlawful on a number of grounds."

In his report Anthony Barrett, the appointed auditor and assistant auditor general, criticised the council in a number of ways, finding:

  • The meeting of the Senior Remuneration Committee was not properly advertised.
  • Agendas were not made available for public inspection as they should have been.
  • Certain officers, including the Chief Executive, who were beneficiaries of the decision were present at the meeting to approve the salary increases but that no declarations of interest were made.
  • The report presented to the Committee was written by the Chief Executive.
  • The report did not consider the full range of options identified

In December workers at the council staged a walkout after the Chief Executive was reportedly given a pay rise of around £27,000 in the September.

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