SOLVA Community Council has been left ‘unimpressed’ and ‘unconvinced’ by how the leader of Pembrokeshire County Council has responded to their concerns.
SCC wrote to Councillor Jamie Adams on two occasions in February, regarding matters of ‘unlawful payments to senior officers’ and the ‘downgrading of vital services at Withybush Hospital.’
The community councillors welcomed Cllr Adams to their meeting on April 2 to discuss the issues, but were left wanting more.
In an open letter sent to Cllr Adams on April 11, SCC said: “Community councillors were unimpressed with your defence on how PCC has dealt with these damaging issues, specifically the unlawful payments to senior offices.”
The issue of the payments - declared unlawful by the Wales Audit Office - relate to the chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones and one other senior officer and are currently under investigation by police.
The letter goes on to say: “Councillors thought your argument, which you supported with the Local Government Act 1972, was untenable and unconvincing. We were also dismayed by your refusal to acknowledge the ethical and moral aspects of this case.”
The community councillors did acknowledge Cllr Adams’ role as the leader of the local authority and that he faces many challenges, such as leading the development and delivery of a Pembrokeshire regeneration programme.
However they said: “None of your challenges have been helped by the ensuing groundswell of public opinion against PCC and its perceived incompetence in dealing with the matter of unlawful payments. This single fact has brought every county councillor and community councillor into disrepute,” and “the overwhelming view of the local electorate is that PCC has abused its power.”
Solva community councillors are now urging Cllr Adams to take all the necessary steps “to ensure that all future decisions relating to senior officer’s pay and pensions will be taken in the right way, and at the right time, by the right people and for the right reasons.”
This they hope will “restore the good name of the county” and make people proud to live in Pembrokeshire again.