Bid to debate controversial pension payments to Pembrokeshire County Council top officers is thrown out
9:17am Friday 18th October 2013 in News
Following questions to council leader Cllr Jamie Adams, Labour leader Cllr Paul Miller said he was dissatisfied with the answers and called for the floor to be opened for debate.
But members voted against the proposal by 34 to 21.
The issue came to light last month when audit committee members were told there was a “difference of opinion” between the council and the Wales Audit Office (WAO) over the legality of a decision to allow senior staff to receive the equivalent of the employer’s pension contribution when opting out of the local government pension scheme.
The WAO said it was unable to finalise the council’s audit for 2012/13.
Chief executive Mr Parry-Jones and one head of service were the only officers to have taken the opportunity.
Prior to Thursday’s vote, Cllr Miller asked Cllr Adams for a summary of the concerns and an update.
“Constructive dialogue is ongoing,” said Cllr Adams.
“It would be inappropriate for me to discuss further either that discussion or the merits of that case.”
In response to further questions by Cllr Miller, Cllr Adams said he was not in a position to “guess” the cost of continued deliberations.
During the meeting, Cllr Adams also faced questions from Cllr Jacob Williams and Cllr Mike Stoddart.
In January 2012, the Western Telegraph revealed details of a private meeting of the senior staff committee in September 2011, at which the decision was made.
Six councillors, Mr Parry-Jones and the head of human resources were present at the meeting, which took place in the chief executive’s office.
During Thursday’s meeting, it emerged senior staff committee meetings were also held in the chief executive’s office on April 22 2008 and May 2 2012.