Crucial council meeting over 'unlawful' payments to take place

The crucial Pembrokeshire County Council meeting over the ‘unlawful’ pension arrangements of chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones is to be held this morning.

The extraordinary meeting (10am, County Hall) is a requirement of the damning Wales Audit Office report that has been the catalyst for a police investigation.

The report declared a scheme whereby Mr Parry-Jones and another senior officer received the equivalent of the employers’ pension contributions in salary payments as unlawful.

The meeting, including a notice of motion to suspend the chief executive, can be watched live online here.

The issue came about following a meeting of the Senior Staff Committee in 2011 (Chairman Cllr John Davies, Cllr John Allen-Mirehouse, Cllr Jamie Adams, Cllr Stanley Hudson, Cllr Susan Perkins and Cllr David Wildman) when the committee agreed to allow Mr Parry-Jones and other senior officers to opt out of the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Mr Parry-Jones and an unnamed officer then received the equivalent of the employers pension contribution in direct payments.

The Western Telegraph learned of the changes in December 2011 and published a story in January 2012 (click here).

The papers for today’s meeting refers to questions being received from Western Telegraph chief reporter Katy Woodhouse.

In 2012 the Auditor became aware of the payments and decided to review them as part of the 2012-2013 accounts.

In a public interest report released last month, Auditor Anthony Barrett decided that the payments were unlawful.

This week, Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed that there would be a formal police investigation to determine if any criminal activity had taken place.

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