PEMBROKESHIRE County Council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones will be paid £12,000 as the regional returning officer for Wales in May’s European Parliament elections, the Western Telegraph can reveal.
But there have been calls for Mr Parry Jones to forfeit the role – which he has held since 1998 - while the police investigate potentially “unlawful” pension payments he received.
The appointment is made by the UK government. A cabinet office spokesman said: “We are closely monitoring developments but it would not be appropriate to comment while a police investigation into this matter is ongoing.”
Councillor Michael Williams has called on council leader Cllr Jamie Adams for an “assurance” Mr Parry-Jones’ salary would be reduced to reflect the time and payment involved.
In an email seen by the Western Telegraph, Cllr Adams’ response stated: “By contract, including national conditions of service, he (like other returning officers) is entitled to fees which are not related to his duties as chief executive.”
He added: “In addition, I am more than satisfied that the chief executive properly works more than his contractual hours on county council duties.”
Cllr Williams told the Western Telegraph: “I would have hoped that, when we look at the multiple problems we now face in Pembrokeshire, he could have forfeited this role and really concentrated his efforts on Pembrokeshire County Council.”
An Electoral Commission spokesman said: “We have been monitoring the situation and our concern is whether or not the elections are well run.
“Everything is as it should be in terms of how the elections are run. It’s not for us to have concerns about a particular individual.”
A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman said: “The regional returning officer for Wales is a separate role to that of council chief executive, and is independently appointed by the government.”
Back in February, both south Pembrokeshire AM Angela Burns, and mid and west Wales AM Rebecca Evans called for Mr Parry-Jones to stand down as returning officer.