LETTERS inviting two senior Pembrokeshire County Council officers to return money they received through ‘unlawful’ pension payments have been sent out.

But when asked if the officers had agreed or declined to return the money, Pembrokeshire County Council said it would be making no further comment on the issue.

The matter relates to the controversial pension arrangements of chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones and another senior officer that were declared unlawful by the Wales Audit Office (WAO).

The pair received payments in lieu of pension contributions after opting out of the local government pension scheme.

In a special report, the WAO described the arrangement as unlawful but a subsequent investigation by Gloucestershire police found no evidence of criminality.

An extraordinary meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council on May 1st backed a proposal to invite the officers to repay the money paid under the scheme - more than £50,000.

The Western Telegraph asked this week if the ‘invitation’ to repay had been sent out and whether the officers had agreed or declined the offer.

A council spokesman said: “The Council can confirm that the letters to the two employees have been sent.

“However, the detail of the correspondence relates to contractual matters between the Authority and two of its employees; as such it will remain private.

“There will be no further comment on the matter.”

At the meeting on May 1st it was agreed that the responses from the officers would be made to the July meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council.

Members agreed that if responses had not been received by that meeting, they would look again at formally recovering the money.