UPDATED: Police to take no action over payments to senior Pembrokeshire County Council officers
Updated 4:51pm Tuesday 6th May 2014 in News
Police are to take no action over controversial payments made to senior officers at Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire County Councils, it has just been announced.
Pembrokeshire county council chief exec Bryn-Parry Jones and another unnamed officer received thousands of pounds in payments in lieu of the employers' pension contributions in a scheme that the Wales Audit Office described as 'unlawful'.
A similar scheme was set up in Carmarthenshire.
But today (Tuesday), a spokesman for Dyfed-Powys Police, said: “On 30th January 2014, three Public Interest Reports were published by the Wales Audit Office into matters relating to Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire County Councils.
"Following this, Dyfed Powys Police decided that the matters should be investigated ‘in the public interest’ to ascertain whether or not any criminal offences had taken place.
"Due to the close working relationships and partnership arrangements that exist between Dyfed-Powys Police and both local authorities, it was not appropriate for the Force to carry out the enquiry. As such, the matter was referred to Gloucestershire Constabulary who agreed to undertake the investigation.
"Gloucester Constabulary have now completed their enquiries and have confirmed that following an objective and independent analysis of the evidence, they did not find any evidence to suggest that any criminal offences had taken place. On the basis of this, the police will be taking no further action in relation to these matters.
"Both local authorities have been advised of this decision.”
Pembrokeshire County Council has already voted to rescind the opt-out scheme and last week members voted to invite Mr Parry-Jones and the other officer to return the money paid to them under the scheme.
Pembrokeshire council leader Jamie Adams, said: “I have always maintained that though the decision in question may have been procedurally flawed, no individual had used their influence improperly.
"I am pleased that the police have reached a similar conclusion and have decided that there is no basis to investigate this matter.”
He went on to say: “Though the Council voted to rescind the original decision earlier this year, I remain of the view that there was nothing inherently ‘unlawful’ about the arrangement that was in place. Indeed, identical arrangements are in place in other public bodies across the UK.”
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