PEMBROKESHIRE County Council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones has transferred money he received under an ‘unlawful’ pay supplement scheme to his wife, according to a confidential letter obtained by the Western Telegraph.
Tomorrow’s meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council is due to discuss the situation whereby Mr Parry-Jones and another senior officer were asked to voluntarily repay money made under a pension opt-out ‘pay supplement’ scheme that the Wales Audit Office later declared unlawful.
The agenda before councillors states that the other, unnamed officer, had not replied but a letter had been received from the Association of Local Authority Chief Executives on behalf of Mr Parry-Jones.
The agenda suggests that the letter and its contents should be discussed in private.
But the Western Telegraph has obtained a copy of the letter.
It states that the council’s decision to end the ‘pay supplement’ and stop future payments is “a unilateral breach of contract by the council and is itself an unlawful act.”
It says that Mr Parry-Jones has suffered “significant detriment since February 2014 in that the council as his employer has made no contribution towards his retirement savings as contractually required and reasonably expected. The essence of the invitation in your letter is that Mr Parry-Jones should further increase that detriment.”
The letter adds that Mr Parry-Jones opted opted out of the scheme and made other arrangements in good faith and “on that basis, leading Counsel has advised that the sums are not likely to be recoverable in law.”
It goes on to add that the cash Mr Parry-Jones received under the scheme in the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 tax years had been “transferred to his wife who has invested the same to ameliorate her position bearing in mind that since April 1 2012 no further accrual of the widow’s pension has occurred due to Mr Parry-Jones opting out of the Local Government Pension Scheme in reliance of his contractual rights.”
Pembrokeshire County Council meets at County Hall at 10am on Thursday.