Pembrokeshire County Council chief executive survives vote of no confidence
Updated 11:33am Friday 7th March 2014 in News
Pembrokeshire County Council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones has survived a vote of no confidence at County Hall this afternoon.
After a lengthy debate following a series of notices of motion, councillors went to the vote.
Fourteen notices of no confidence had been submitted by separate councillors and had the chance to say why they felt it had been necessary to put them forward.
Cllr Bob Kilmister spoke first, he said that Mr Parry-Jones pay package was £65,000 more than the First Minister and "we should expect something very, very special. Instead we've had four years of major problems which have all been handled very badly".
He referenced the two failed judicial reviews relating to care home charges in 2010 and 2011, damning CSSIW and Estyn reports into child safeguarding and education in 2011 and the subsequent introduction of a ministerial board.
The motions had been put forward following the 'unlawful' pensions scandal that has rocked County Hall over recent months.
Of the controversial pension payments Cllr Kilmister said: "Even if legally it's right there's absolutely no doubt it's ethically wrong."
Cllr Tony Wilcox said the council was "stumbling from crisis to crisis" and there was an "air of arrogance".
Cllr Viv Stoddart added: "This council's reputation is in tatters, it's been on a downward spiral almost as long as I have been on the council and for all this time Bryn Parry-Jones has been chief officer of this council."
Council leader Cllr Jamie Adams said the reports by external bodies did not identify any individual in senior management in its criticisms but added that the chief executive had been named in an Estyn report for the way he had "responded and been involved in terms of making difficult decisions that were needed to move the authority forward".
He also said the chief executive had brought business investment to the county.
Cllr Sue Perkins said she believed the period when the safeguarding reports had been the worst time for the council but things were much improved.
She said she had voted against the chief executive in the past and he is "not my most favourite person" but now was not the time to "move someone out".
Twenty three members voted for the motion of no confidence, 30 against and there were five abstentions.
Former county council leader John Davies, who was in charge when the controversial pension arrangements were approved, abstained during the vote.
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