THE chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council is being urged to allow discussion of notices of motion relating to ‘no confidence’ in chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones today (Thursday).
‘No confidence’ motions dominate today's agenda of Full Council meeting with 20 motions submitted in relation to three council officials in the wake of last month’s Extraordinary Meeting where a call for underfire chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones to stand aside while controversial pensions payments are investigated by police was curtailed.
Fourteen Notices of Motion relating to the council having ‘no confidence’ in chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones have been submitted by opposition councillors including Cllrs Bob Kilmister, Pat Davies, Jacob Williams, Viv Stoddart and David Bryan.
Cllr Bryan is among other councillors that have requested that Chairman Arwyn Williams allows the notices to be debated at the meeting.
Normal council procedure is that a notice of motion is put at full council, it is received and it is then referred to Corporate Governance Committee or Cabinet.
A letter from Cllr Paul Miller to council chairman Cllr Arwyn Williams states: “The people of Pembrokeshire rightly expect their views and opinions to be heard in our council chamber and on the 14th they were not [February 14’s Extraodinary Meeting]. Councillors they had elected were effectively gagged and a meaningful debate on a crucial motion was prevented.
“I write today to seek assurance that you will not allow our meeting on Thursday to become a repeat of that shambles and I implore you to never again tolerate the use of the underhand and manipulative tactics we witnessed on the 14th.
“This council’s leadership sought to deny democratically elected councillors the opportunity to voice concerns on behalf of their constituents and allowing them to succeed was fundamentally wrong.
“Irrespective of the will of the leadership, councillors must be able to debate Motions in relation to Chief Officers and the pay supplement policy (recently declared unlawful by the Wales Audit Office) at Thursday’s meeting.”
Cllr Miller is also calling for a special meeting to be held this month to discuss recovering pension pay supplements paid under the scheme declared ‘unlawful’ by the Welsh Audit Office and before that meeting said members must be made aware of options available to recover this money.
There are also five Notices of Motion referring to ‘no confidence’ in Pembrokeshire County Council’s monitoring officer Laurence Harding following his involvement in passing newspaper articles in which some councillors had criticised the chief executive to an authority QC.
Cllr Mike Stoddart has also submitted a notice of no confidence in cabinet member for economy, tourism and communities Cllr David Pugh.
At this morning's meeting which is open to the public, a number of questions will also be put to the ruling Independent Plus Group relating to the cost of legal advice provided by Timothy Kerr QC, whether any costs can be attributed to supporting the higher earner new pension arrangements and who put the discussion of pension arrangements on the agenda when it was discussed in September 2011?
Thursday’s meeting begins at 10am. The meeting will also be broadcast live over the internet here.