BREAKING: Union members to protest about Pembrokeshire County Council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones

Bryn Parry-Jones is to come under renewed pressure from unions.

Bryn Parry-Jones is to come under renewed pressure from unions.

First published in News

Union members at Pembrokeshire County Hall are to protest outside County Hall about the "catalogue of failures and concerns" under the leadership of council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones.

They are also to ballot members for a vote of no confidence in Mr Parry-Jones.

In a press statement issued a short time ago, union members said: "The pension pay supplements paid to Bryn Parry Jones, Pembrokeshire County Council’s CEO, which are being reinvestigated by Gloucester Police force, is a step too far for his employees.

"At a joint trade union meeting UNISON, Unite and GMB decided to ballot their members for a vote of no confidence in their most senior officer."

Vic Dennis, UNISON Branch Secretary, said: “UNISON members are astonished that somebody entangled in this whole sorry saga has not been suspended whilst the investigation and now reinvestigation takes place.

“If this happened to an ordinary worker their feet would not touch the ground. They would be suspended to allow a full investigation to be carried out.”

“Our members are saying 'enough is enough'. There has been a catalogue of failures and concerns. The most recent BBC Week In Week Out programme highlighted further failings that took place whilst the Chief Executive was in charge.

“The Chief Executive has refused to repay any of the £45,000 pounds of pension payments he received directly to his bank account.

"In the meantime some of the lowest paid and hardest hit by the pay and grading review are suffering hardship whilst the appeals process drags on with no end in sight.”

“The joint unions are now planning to demonstrate their anger at a lunchtime protest on 8 August, similar to the action taken by employees of Caerphilly Council which highlighted the failings of their CEO.”

Comments (29)

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4:22pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Electra1 says...

Good.
Good. Electra1
  • Score: 15

4:34pm Tue 29 Jul 14

hardcheese says...

Pembrokeshire County Council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones has got to go, he is only looking after himself. Does he ever have consider the ratepayers who are struggling to survive in this day and age. Perry-Jones should end up in prison for what he has done...
Pembrokeshire County Council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones has got to go, he is only looking after himself. Does he ever have consider the ratepayers who are struggling to survive in this day and age. Perry-Jones should end up in prison for what he has done... hardcheese
  • Score: 21

5:54pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Bilbo101 says...

Over 2000 People have now signed the ePetition against Bryn, have you signed ? If not see the petition here : https://you.38degree
s.org.uk/petitions/e
nd-corruption-in-pem
brokeshire-county-co
uncil

We need to get the numbers up to hopefully persuade the Assembly to take notice and introduce steps to curb the dodgy dealings at County Hall.
Over 2000 People have now signed the ePetition against Bryn, have you signed ? If not see the petition here : https://you.38degree s.org.uk/petitions/e nd-corruption-in-pem brokeshire-county-co uncil We need to get the numbers up to hopefully persuade the Assembly to take notice and introduce steps to curb the dodgy dealings at County Hall. Bilbo101
  • Score: 18

6:14pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Flashbang says...

Hasn't everybody realised that the fix is in and there will be no jail time, no sanctions, no repaying the money and no repercussions or punishment for any wrongdoing by this man? Gloucester Constabulary will not investigate properly and Jamie will be in front of the cameras saying he has confidence in the Chief exec and the people of Pembrokeshire are lucky to have someone of his caliber running things. That's the way the world works these days.
Hasn't everybody realised that the fix is in and there will be no jail time, no sanctions, no repaying the money and no repercussions or punishment for any wrongdoing by this man? Gloucester Constabulary will not investigate properly and Jamie will be in front of the cameras saying he has confidence in the Chief exec and the people of Pembrokeshire are lucky to have someone of his caliber running things. That's the way the world works these days. Flashbang
  • Score: 14

6:43pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Bilbo101 says...

Flashbang wrote:
Hasn't everybody realised that the fix is in and there will be no jail time, no sanctions, no repaying the money and no repercussions or punishment for any wrongdoing by this man? Gloucester Constabulary will not investigate properly and Jamie will be in front of the cameras saying he has confidence in the Chief exec and the people of Pembrokeshire are lucky to have someone of his caliber running things. That's the way the world works these days.
Your right, there probably be no penalties against him, it looks like everything has been designed to ensure that Bryn always lands sunny-side-up. Whilst it is hugely annoying that he has been able to milk the county for so long and get away with it, at least we might be able to stop the rot if we can finally get rid of this guy. It looks like the writing is on the wall, only a matter of time now hopefully and then we can focus on removing the IPPG councillors that not only allowed this situation to continue for such a long time but actively support it, against the wishes of their constituents.

However it would be absolutely great in my opinion if these investigations resulted in dismissal and that way we can avoid paying the golden handshake.

Send the link below to all your friends and relatives and ask them to sign the ePetition against Bryn, the more people that sign then the more pressure there will be on the Assembly to intervene.

ePetition link : https://you.38degree
s.org.uk/petitions/e
nd-corruption-in-pem
brokeshire-county-co

uncil
[quote][p][bold]Flashbang[/bold] wrote: Hasn't everybody realised that the fix is in and there will be no jail time, no sanctions, no repaying the money and no repercussions or punishment for any wrongdoing by this man? Gloucester Constabulary will not investigate properly and Jamie will be in front of the cameras saying he has confidence in the Chief exec and the people of Pembrokeshire are lucky to have someone of his caliber running things. That's the way the world works these days.[/p][/quote]Your right, there probably be no penalties against him, it looks like everything has been designed to ensure that Bryn always lands sunny-side-up. Whilst it is hugely annoying that he has been able to milk the county for so long and get away with it, at least we might be able to stop the rot if we can finally get rid of this guy. It looks like the writing is on the wall, only a matter of time now hopefully and then we can focus on removing the IPPG councillors that not only allowed this situation to continue for such a long time but actively support it, against the wishes of their constituents. However it would be absolutely great in my opinion if these investigations resulted in dismissal and that way we can avoid paying the golden handshake. Send the link below to all your friends and relatives and ask them to sign the ePetition against Bryn, the more people that sign then the more pressure there will be on the Assembly to intervene. ePetition link : https://you.38degree s.org.uk/petitions/e nd-corruption-in-pem brokeshire-county-co uncil Bilbo101
  • Score: 9

6:52pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Indeview J Hudson says...

It seems that there are rules about how disciplinary action/dismissal against the Head of Paid Service CEO) , Monitoring Officer Chief Financial officer and Head of Democratic Service should be taken. Put Simply:-
1. No action can be taken other than suspension ( for 2 months on full pay)for the purposes of an investigation into alleged misconduct.
2. The investigation is carried out by an investigation committee of a minimum of 3 council members ( politically balanced).
3. Where it appears that the alleged misconduct should be further investigated, it must appoint an independent person as agreed by the Council and the relevant officer.
4. This independent person must make a report to Council recommending whether the evidence supports the allegation and recommending disciplinary action.

Is it possible to find 3 or more unbiased councillors who are not pre-disposed or pre-determined, one way or the other? I think that the actions of our councillors have made it almost impossible for the proper procedures to be commenced.

Who could or would put a case together, officers of the Council or councillors?
Perhaps the direct referral to the Police was, or is, the only other way.
It seems that there are rules about how disciplinary action/dismissal against the Head of Paid Service CEO) , Monitoring Officer Chief Financial officer and Head of Democratic Service should be taken. Put Simply:- 1. No action can be taken other than suspension ( for 2 months on full pay)for the purposes of an investigation into alleged misconduct. 2. The investigation is carried out by an investigation committee of a minimum of 3 council members ( politically balanced). 3. Where it appears that the alleged misconduct should be further investigated, it must appoint an independent person as agreed by the Council and the relevant officer. 4. This independent person must make a report to Council recommending whether the evidence supports the allegation and recommending disciplinary action. Is it possible to find 3 or more unbiased councillors who are not pre-disposed or pre-determined, one way or the other? I think that the actions of our councillors have made it almost impossible for the proper procedures to be commenced. Who could or would put a case together, officers of the Council or councillors? Perhaps the direct referral to the Police was, or is, the only other way. Indeview J Hudson
  • Score: 15

10:52pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Health fighter says...

Sadly, Teflon Man will probably escape thanks to Jamie and his compatriots who are more concerned about their salaries/bonuses than serving the electorate. I just hope that the electorate will remember at the next election.
Sadly, Teflon Man will probably escape thanks to Jamie and his compatriots who are more concerned about their salaries/bonuses than serving the electorate. I just hope that the electorate will remember at the next election. Health fighter
  • Score: 11

11:48pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Welshman23 says...

Indeview J Hudson wrote:
It seems that there are rules about how disciplinary action/dismissal against the Head of Paid Service CEO) , Monitoring Officer Chief Financial officer and Head of Democratic Service should be taken. Put Simply:-
1. No action can be taken other than suspension ( for 2 months on full pay)for the purposes of an investigation into alleged misconduct.
2. The investigation is carried out by an investigation committee of a minimum of 3 council members ( politically balanced).
3. Where it appears that the alleged misconduct should be further investigated, it must appoint an independent person as agreed by the Council and the relevant officer.
4. This independent person must make a report to Council recommending whether the evidence supports the allegation and recommending disciplinary action.

Is it possible to find 3 or more unbiased councillors who are not pre-disposed or pre-determined, one way or the other? I think that the actions of our councillors have made it almost impossible for the proper procedures to be commenced.

Who could or would put a case together, officers of the Council or councillors?
Perhaps the direct referral to the Police was, or is, the only other way.
We live in hope, hut well done the unions.
Stop collecting the rubbish from BPJ and he can visit the tip in his company Porsche and face the wrath. Do us all a favour leave the county .
We should all support the unions with their campaign.
Be careful what you say on this blog, big brother is watching.
[quote][p][bold]Indeview J Hudson[/bold] wrote: It seems that there are rules about how disciplinary action/dismissal against the Head of Paid Service CEO) , Monitoring Officer Chief Financial officer and Head of Democratic Service should be taken. Put Simply:- 1. No action can be taken other than suspension ( for 2 months on full pay)for the purposes of an investigation into alleged misconduct. 2. The investigation is carried out by an investigation committee of a minimum of 3 council members ( politically balanced). 3. Where it appears that the alleged misconduct should be further investigated, it must appoint an independent person as agreed by the Council and the relevant officer. 4. This independent person must make a report to Council recommending whether the evidence supports the allegation and recommending disciplinary action. Is it possible to find 3 or more unbiased councillors who are not pre-disposed or pre-determined, one way or the other? I think that the actions of our councillors have made it almost impossible for the proper procedures to be commenced. Who could or would put a case together, officers of the Council or councillors? Perhaps the direct referral to the Police was, or is, the only other way.[/p][/quote]We live in hope, hut well done the unions. Stop collecting the rubbish from BPJ and he can visit the tip in his company Porsche and face the wrath. Do us all a favour leave the county . We should all support the unions with their campaign. Be careful what you say on this blog, big brother is watching. Welshman23
  • Score: 8

1:14am Wed 30 Jul 14

Kiwitaff says...

Yes Indeview the rules for the CEO are clearly very different to those that apply to any other employees. It is clear that when an influential Councillor/ freemason sets out to get you out then it is a fore gone conclusion as to the eventual outcome.

However, an effective MP and a determined County Councillor could make the world of difference. I am saddened that the people of Pembrokeshire have had to put up with sub standard leadership in Education and public services for nearly two decades.

The big issue must be is Tax evasion a criminal offence?
Yes Indeview the rules for the CEO are clearly very different to those that apply to any other employees. It is clear that when an influential Councillor/ freemason sets out to get you out then it is a fore gone conclusion as to the eventual outcome. However, an effective MP and a determined County Councillor could make the world of difference. I am saddened that the people of Pembrokeshire have had to put up with sub standard leadership in Education and public services for nearly two decades. The big issue must be is Tax evasion a criminal offence? Kiwitaff
  • Score: 9

2:08am Wed 30 Jul 14

Cymru bach says...

I would also like to see the Union ask their members if they have confidence in the IPG+ leadership and group that is allowing this debacle to continue.
I would also like to see the Union ask their members if they have confidence in the IPG+ leadership and group that is allowing this debacle to continue. Cymru bach
  • Score: 8

8:01am Wed 30 Jul 14

Welshman23 says...

As parliament is on holidays let's hope our local MP'S are at the front of the demonstration, I think not Mr Crabb will have an excuse he is trimming his beard.
Will Paul Miller be present, and any local councillors.
I am sure that the Kremlin are spending our money looking at all avenues to prevent this demonstration happening.
I wonder will BPJ BE IN THAT DAY OR. WILLHE BE WORKING FROM HOME.
FARMER Adams you should be organising an emergency meeting to discuss this latest fiasco.
Has any union any other local authority taking this action against their CEO
As parliament is on holidays let's hope our local MP'S are at the front of the demonstration, I think not Mr Crabb will have an excuse he is trimming his beard. Will Paul Miller be present, and any local councillors. I am sure that the Kremlin are spending our money looking at all avenues to prevent this demonstration happening. I wonder will BPJ BE IN THAT DAY OR. WILLHE BE WORKING FROM HOME. FARMER Adams you should be organising an emergency meeting to discuss this latest fiasco. Has any union any other local authority taking this action against their CEO Welshman23
  • Score: 5

10:04am Wed 30 Jul 14

Sue T/K says...

Open Letter 24 July 2014 – Please feel free to reproduce/copy/forwa
rd publish (preferably unabridged)

Re: Pembrokeshire County Council

From: Sue Thomas (Whistleblower Pembrokeshire County Council - Mik Smith Case 2005)

To whom it may concern:
I agreed to appear in the BBC Wales Week in Week Out programme broadcast on 15 July 2014 to highlight the failings of Pembrokeshire County Council's Safeguarding Procedures, in light of Mik Smith's imprisonment for child abuse offences at the beginning of July. I felt that the statements being released from County Hall after Smith's conviction, were verging on self-congratulatory and were misleading in the extreme. PCC were distancing themselves from any form of mistake or wrongdoing regarding Smith and I wanted the establishment in general and the public in Pembrokeshire to be made aware of the facts as I (and many former colleagues) saw them.
Everything I said in the programme (and 5 more hours of tape) was factual. I am in possession of all the corroborating letters; meeting recordings; etc. The BBC legal department were fastidious in checking everything I stated, before the programme aired, and the 'Week in Week Out' team themselves are professional and highly regarded – it was not a 'gutter press' production.

In that BBC programme, the following statements were made:

Sue Thomas: '…..There were so many good, hard-working professional people that came forward with complaints – I cannot understand why we weren't listened to.'

Tim Rogers (reporter): 'Sue Thomas was deeply unhappy with the investigation so she went a step further.'

Sue Thomas: 'I emailed right through the Education Department – through the Director of Education up to Bryn Parry-Jones – giving the teams concerns, not just mine personally, and putting the points across.'

Tim Rogers: 'Writing to the Chief Executive and to the senior members of the council is possibly, some would say, taking the nuclear option.'

Sue Thomas: 'I felt that I no option other than to do that, and again naively I thought that if I went higher up that at some stage, some level, somebody would listen. But apparently not.'

In Nov/Dec 2005, I emailed 2 letters to all levels of management (including the CEO). I received a response to the first of these from (in date order): Mr Gerson Davies (then Director of Education); Mr Bryn Parry-Jones; Mr Eirian Evans. I received a response to the second from Mr Eirian Evans only. My 2 email letters, and the responses to the first one, follow below.

Email Letter 1 from Sue Thomas – sent to Bryn Parry-Jones (CEO PCC); Gerson Davies (Director of Educ PCC); Anne Wakefield (PCC Educ Dept); Francis Maull (Head of Personnel PCC); Eirian Evans (Head of Youth Service PCC); Cathryn Davies (PCC Personnel Dept):

9 November 2005

Dear Colleagues
Re; Recent/current investgations being carried out by County Youth Officer, Eirian Evans and Personnel Officer, Cathryn Davies.
I would like it put on record that I am totally dissatisfied with the way in which the above matter has been handled within the Youth Service/Education Department of Pembrokeshire County Council, by the above named members of staff and possibly others. Policy/procedure has not been followed; there has been a general lack of discretion, communication and respect shown; intimidation tactics have been employed; and attitudes/decisions made indicate views on 'appropriate behaviour with children' to be widely divergent from today's accepted (or acceptable) norms as indicated by Youth Work national bodies; other county councils; independent organisations; experts in the field; and the police force.
When members of the Youth Action Team made the decision to come forward with their very real concerns, the very least they expected was to be taken seriously by their own management. The team members concerned are professional, dedicated youth workers who consider the well-being of children to be paramount. Very little of which has occurred since certain information was made known to Eirian Evans, initially over 15 months ago (not by myself), has indicated that PCC is willing or able to deal with this matter appropriately. Yesterday's fiasco was no exception. The idea of demanding team members to attend such a meeting completely 'blind' was more than ill-advised, it was intimidatory and showed a complete lack of concern for those team members involved in the investigation. The fact that one member left the room in tears at one point only testifies to this. I was 'lucky' in that I had been informed of the basis of the meeting. I did notify Cathryn Davies that I thought it was totally inappropriate for MS to be present. Even more disturbing was the general tone of the prepared statement by Eirian Evans indicating that PCC considers MS to be the victim in all of this.
It has been intimated that there is some kind of personal vendetta being pursued against the above person. If this were true, why are there at least eight professional youth workers that I am aware of, with serious concerns regarding the work practices of this person? These concerns span over many years – well before I came into youth work. The fact is, the reverse is true and MS has been making my professional life unbearable for over two and a half years, a fact easily verifiable. The stress I am under (and the rest of the team) is not invented – team members are becoming physically ill over this. Not only that, but I am in serious jeopardy of losing my job simply because I feel unable to work with this person as my line manager. How does that encourage others to come forward with concerns in the future?
I do recall that at my induction into PCC several years ago Mr Parry-Jones, you did say that if we were having any problems that weren't getting resolved by management that we had to come and knock on your door – I'm doing that now. I am asking for a meeting between yourself, the directors concerned and those team members involved (excluding MS) to discuss how this matter can be sorted out. Unfortunately, I have become rather cynical so I have to add that I am fully prepared to take this into a wider arena if this matter isn't dealt with urgently.
Yours sincerely
Sue Thomas
Youth Action Team

Gerson Davies Response:

11 Nov 2005
Dear Ms Thomas
Further to your e-mail dated 9 November 2005
In relation to the substantive issues raised therein it is my understanding that;
i. the allegations were properly investigated in line with appropriate procedures;
ii. the meeting with team members was requested by Unison. In all events it was appropriate;
iii. matters relating to your employment are being considered in accordance with agreed procedures. I trust that you will appreciate that I cannot get involved at this stage.
Please note that this is our corporate reply; I understand that a separate letter has been sent by the Chief Executive.
Yours sincerely
(Signature Here)
G.W.Davies
Director of Education

Bryn Parry-Jones Response:

15 November 2005
Dear Ms Thomas
Thank you for your e-mail of the 9 November. As the subject matter was about your personal circumstances, I felt it was more appropriate to reply by letter.
You make reference to your recollection of my words during an induction session. I think I made it clear that I was referring to a facility for direct communication in the event of line managers not listening to reasonable suggestions for organisational improvement. Your perceived problem seems however to relate to your personal circumstances and your relationship with others. If you have a grievance about such matters, there are established procedures for you to follow and it would be inappropriate for me to intervene personally. I have no doubt that some other colleagues to whom you have also emailed will be able to help you accordingly.
Yours sincerely
(Signature Here)
Chief Executive

Eirian Evans Response:

17 November 2005
Dear Sue
Further to the team briefing and your emailed response to that briefing addressed to the Chief Executive, to which I was copied in, I think it appropriate at this juncture to summarise where we are with your complaint against Mik Smith and the stage we have now reached in the absence procedure.
1. Your complaint against Mik Smith was fully investigated under the All Wales Child Protection Guidelines and an outcome obtained through the internal Disciplinary Procedure, the full details of which you are now aware.
2. The meeting held last Monday was considered to be in the best interests of openness and honesty and a way forward for the team members, by both the authority and your union.
3. (Personal information about absence review omitted). First offer of new line manager. Continues: As the overall manager of the Youth Service I have to consider the effect recent events has had on the team as a whole and even with a change of direct line management, there is a need for mediation between you and Mik Smith. My feeling is that to move forward for both of you such a mediation event should take place....... With mediation, I am advised, there can be no dictating on terms of outcome.
I believe the above summarises the situation as it currently stands and welcome your views regarding your future with the Youth Service.
Yours sincerely
(Signature Here)
Eirian Evans (County Youth Officer)

Email Letter 2 from Sue Thomas– copied to Bryn Parry-Jones; Gerson Davies; Anne Wakefield; Cathryn Davies; Biddy Rawlence (Unison):

Dear Eirian

3 December 2005
Firstly, I would like to put in a complaint against my line manager with regards to comments made recently. I was told first-hand yesterday, that whilst MS was on his Certificate Course training, very recently, he made statements about me to several youth workers – one from Pembrokeshire and several from Carmarthenshire County Council. Firstly, he stated that ‘it was Sue Thomas who put complaints in about me’ whilst discussing the recent team meeting of the 8th November; and secondly, he made comments about my PCC mobile phone bill being high ‘seeing I was supposed to be off sick’.
MS’s flippant attitude to confidentiality has caused me a great deal of stress in the past (during my disciplinary in April and at other times) but this is the first time that I have been told directly from another person involved that he is making totally inappropriate comments to people, including workers from outside of PCC. His comments also make me question the credibility of PCC’s whistle blowing procedures and ethics. Do you believe that this behaviour is appropriate for a line manager, or any other employee of PCC for that matter? I expect action to be taken.
Secondly, I think that you are well aware of my feelings about the ‘team meeting’ held on 8th November. I was as disappointed by the subsequent meeting on the 21st November, for the same reasons. Your letter of the 22nd November contradicts yours and the department’s actual attitude to the team in respect of the events in question. It is blatantly clear to all involved that you are not ‘available to discuss unresolved issues’; you do not have the remotest clue how difficult this process has been and continues to be for myself and the other team members involved; you are not taking any of our concerns seriously and you are not prepared to hear them being aired; you are well aware that inappropriate behaviour is continuing and yet you still continue to defend the person in question. You talk in your letter about a united team and yet you persist in trying to divide the team members. The team members’ perception of the situation is united but I understand why you are asking to see us individually as I appreciate how much easier it would be for you intimidate us on a one-to-one basis.
I would like to draw your attention to some specifics. In the meeting of the 21st November, our minutes show, that you stated the following with regards to the investigation of the 11 reported incidents:
That in supervision with MS during the investigation that you had told him that the reported incidents ‘weren’t appropriate ways of working’;
That you hoped that he would have the things you discussed with him in the back of his mind at all times and that he doesn’t get himself into that situation ever again;
That ‘I can say to you that if he does go down that line – I can’t defend him’;
That you were not happy about having 11 allegations about any individual;
That you felt ‘MS’ ‘had taken it on board straight away’ that ‘as a line manager he is seen as a role model’ and that he cannot be behaving in this way;
That your feelings were that as a professional, he shouldn’t be doing it anyway.
I am holding you to the above statements, in particular the one highlighted. If you are under misapprehension about the seriousness of the situation perhaps you should refer to other organisations - Hampshire County Council and Loughborough University Child Protection Policies are good examples, amongst many. I am at a loss why every single person outside of the small circle of PCC management seems to think that this matter is far from trivial. Your actions seem to suggest that you have no middle position between behaviour which is acceptable and behaviour which is illegal. There is a knife-edge position between the two. I question if a person continues to practise youth work along this line after having been formally warned by management whether:
1. The initial disciplinary action taken was severe enough to act as a deterrent;
2. The department conveyed to the person being investigated an impression that the behaviour was not in their opinion serious, either directly or indirectly;
3. The person is suitable to be working in any role with children.
Apart from the seriousness of inappropriate behaviour in itself, it is my understanding of employment law, and I will stand corrected if wrong, that disobedience i.e. by ignoring a direct instruction from management, is an act of gross misconduct. You can slip in comments about ‘the well-being of young people’ but they are meaningless without action. I do appreciate it is not my role to decide on the action to be taken but I do see it as my duty as a youth worker to speak out at against inaction. Eirian, as far as the team and Unison are concerned this matter is far from being ‘dealt with’, particularly now.
I would appreciate a response to the points raised above, and specifically to my complaint, as soon as possible.
Yours sincerely
Sue Thomas
YAT

To clarify, the April disciplinary I refer to in the second email above, is described here. Just prior to Easter 2005 (22 March) I telephoned Eirian Evans in County Hall, to ask for a meeting. I explained that I would be handing in a statement about my line manager's behaviour. At this point, Eirian Evans was fully aware I was bringing a whistleblowing complaint regarding child protection issues against Mik Smith. I was given a date (15 April) after the Easter holidays for the meeting. I was not a member of Unison at this time.
On the 7 April (during the Easter school break), completely unexpectedly, I received notification of a disciplinary hearing to be held against me on the 13 April, 2 days before the whistleblowing meeting booked with Eirian Evans. This had been brought by Mik Smith; was to be chaired by Mik Smith; and involved trumped up charges of poor time keeping. I immediately asked for Eirian Evans to chair the disciplinary, but this was refused by Cathyrn Davies from personnel. When this matter was later examined by Unison I was informed that had they been involved at the time it would have been thrown out immediately. Despite meaningless 'evidence' being submitted by Smith, I was found guilty and given a verbal warning.

I would also like to make it clear that by the time the above 2 email letters were written/sent to those stated, almost 8 months had passed since the start of the complaint process against Mik Smith.
I had been subjected to a disciplinary process and other less obvious bullying tactics employed by the council and I was reaching the end of my tether. The lack of progress (as the team saw it) in trying to persuade PCC management that they had a serious problem on their hands with Mik Smith, had had an impact. My letters reflect this.

At Pembrokeshire County Council's full council meeting on the 17 July 2014 (webcast questions 35 - 37), Cllr. Paul Miller raised several points regarding the 2005 Mik Smith investigation. Only at this point, after the BBC programmed had aired, did PCC make any public declaration that the Smith investigation had been badly flawed. Cllr Adams stated that Smith should have been given a formal final warning. Had this been the case he would have been dismissed in about October 2005, after further complaints had been received (via Unison). As it was, these further complaints were more or less ignored despite Eirian Evans stating in the team meeting of the 21 November (when discussing the whisleblowing complaints from Easter 2005) that he would not be able to 'defend' Mik Smith if he went down the same road again. Why he felt the need to 'defend' him in the first place has always been an issue.

At the council meeting of the 17 July, Cllr Miller asked the following:

'In media publications recently a big play has been made of the fact that actually none of those involved in this investigation remain employed by the authority. Can I just seek an assurance that anyone who was aware or involved in that investigation has either left, or we're aware of their continued employment and the roll they have currently in our staff structure.'

Cllr Adams responded:

'I can give that assurance to Cllr Miller …........... In terms of the professional staff who were involved in this case at that time, none of them are now working in the authority.'

Cllr Adams continues:

'The suggestion you are making linking this matter to the Chief Executive is flawed'.
He further commented that it would be highly unusual for the CEO to be informed of such complaints (e.g. the Mik Smith investigation). This may be the case in normal circumstances but fails to take into consideration the 2 email letters sent directly to the Mr Parry-Jones, detailed above.

Cllr Miller states:

'I have seen the correspondence (i.e. namely the 2 emails and responses) between Mrs Thomas and the CEO about this case'.

Cllr Adams responds:

'With regards to the correspondence between Mrs Thomas and the Chief Executive, I have seen that correspondence and I remain firmly of the opinion that the whistleblowing identity of Mrs Thomas was separate to that matter. The Chief Executive was wholly unaware that Mrs Thomas, or Ms Thomas, was a whistleblower; and I can categorically state that, having questioned the Chief Executive about it.
And further misunderstanding has occurred here with that correspondence because the correspondence – and as I've said I've read it, I've even got it here – between the Chief Executive and Mrs Thomas does not, does not refer to Mr Smith. It refers to problems that she was experiencing with her line manager, who was in fact Mr Smith. Alright?
It is not about his behaviour. And the Chief Executive replied in terms of advising her of a course of action which he felt, and the letter intimated, was the result of a breakdown of a personal relationship between an employee and her line manager.
She was assigned another line manager subsequently but the Chief Executive suggested that she should undertake, erm, if she was not happy with the outcome, he quite properly advised her having referenced his opinion with the Head of HR, that she should appeal, err, the decision of who should line manage that person.
So that is the context and that is the information in which correspondence was exchanged between the Chief Executive and Miss Thomas and it was not directly linked in any way, it was not, it is not, contained in the document that I have; it was not contained any concern that she had raised with the Chief Executive about the behaviour with children of Mr Smith. That is also absolutely categoric in the information I have here'.

There are only 3 explanations, as far as I can see, for the above statements. Cllr Adams is lying about having read the correspondence; he is lying about the content of the correspondence; or he was supplied with altered/fabricated letters. Whichever is correct, the implications are serious. Had I lied on the BBC programme, no doubt PCC would have brought the power of the law to bear (quite correctly). Double standards are hard to combat – do I have any recourse against Jamie Adams for doing more than intimating that my comments on the programme were incorrect, no, he can continue to mislead (either intentionally or otherwise) without fear of any repercussions UNLESS there is someone reading this with the power to stop him and any others who do likewise.

***THE Chief Executive must have been aware of the Mik Smith case in November 2005 – he read and responded to my letter. Although his response was carefully constructed, there is no doubt that the letter (mine) he was replying to, was about child protection issues and specifically about the MS investigation. The responses from Gerson Davies and Eirian Evans, to the same email letter, make this clear.***

Cllr Adams also went on to comment at the 17 July meeting that he personally had no knowledge of the events at the time (2005) and had any other councillor been aware he would have expected them to have come forward. Cllr Reg Owens stated: 'I was aware at the time … and myself and other members did raise concerns which were mostly, mostly ignored.'

Cllr Miller pointed out, both in the BBC programme and in the 17 July council meeting that many employees of PCC feel that they are unable to come forward with concerns to management. He stated that PCC was a 'dangerous place'. I would like to take this opportunity to stress that I believe he is as correct with that statement now, as he would have been had he said it in 2005, or at any time since. I know that intimidation/reprisa
l tactics are being used now. I urge anyone in this position to contact Unison and/or Cllr Paul Miller.

In conclusion, throughout this process I have been asking whom, if anyone, oversees the actions of a county council in Wales? Is it government in Cardiff? The fact that PCC top management continues to mislead about such serious matters, despite having recently been under special measures, speaks volumes. They feel safe, which is a dangerous state of affairs.

My aim in sending this letter out is to highlight the fact that it is, and will remain 'business as usual' in Pembrokeshire County Council until those of you who are able to do something about it, act. It's as simple as that. The current protagonists will never change the way they operate. The recent comments made in the council meeting prove that. And, bear in mind, a paedophile who could have been removed from contact with the most vulnerable children in the county was allowed to continue in post for at least 7 years after they knew he was a risk.

I would also like to put it on record that the Mik Smith case was not the only child protection complaint swept under the carpet until CSSIW/Estyn forced PCC's hand. A second worker was suspended and then sacked at the same time as Smith. Complaints against him had been raised by members of the Youth Service in 2010, resulting again in a wholly inappropriate response from the council. As I say, 'business as usual'.

As a final point, for the record, I have not in any way benefited financially from anything connected to this case. The reverse is true. I was 43 years old when PCC sacked me – not an ideal situation to be in in terms of finding alternative employment anywhere in the country, not just in Pembrokeshire (as Paul Miller highlighted in the BBC programme). I am well aware that the Chief Executive, Mr Bryn Parry-Jones, earns close to one million pounds/4 years. Amazing what you can get in life if you've got dodgy ethics. Bitter – slightly; angry – very; frustrated – beyond words; and extremely worried - that the real issue, of how and why several tiers of management (including the CEO) have to all intents and purposes ignored child protection complaints specifically relating to their own employees for over 10 years, becomes lost in the continuous mess which seems to envelop PCC.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you are in a position to follow up on any points raised, I would be grateful if you would do so.
Regards
Sue Thomas
24 July 2014
Open Letter 24 July 2014 – Please feel free to reproduce/copy/forwa rd publish (preferably unabridged) Re: Pembrokeshire County Council From: Sue Thomas (Whistleblower Pembrokeshire County Council - Mik Smith Case 2005) To whom it may concern: I agreed to appear in the BBC Wales Week in Week Out programme broadcast on 15 July 2014 to highlight the failings of Pembrokeshire County Council's Safeguarding Procedures, in light of Mik Smith's imprisonment for child abuse offences at the beginning of July. I felt that the statements being released from County Hall after Smith's conviction, were verging on self-congratulatory and were misleading in the extreme. PCC were distancing themselves from any form of mistake or wrongdoing regarding Smith and I wanted the establishment in general and the public in Pembrokeshire to be made aware of the facts as I (and many former colleagues) saw them. Everything I said in the programme (and 5 more hours of tape) was factual. I am in possession of all the corroborating letters; meeting recordings; etc. The BBC legal department were fastidious in checking everything I stated, before the programme aired, and the 'Week in Week Out' team themselves are professional and highly regarded – it was not a 'gutter press' production. In that BBC programme, the following statements were made: Sue Thomas: '…..There were so many good, hard-working professional people that came forward with complaints – I cannot understand why we weren't listened to.' Tim Rogers (reporter): 'Sue Thomas was deeply unhappy with the investigation so she went a step further.' Sue Thomas: 'I emailed right through the Education Department – through the Director of Education up to Bryn Parry-Jones – giving the teams concerns, not just mine personally, and putting the points across.' Tim Rogers: 'Writing to the Chief Executive and to the senior members of the council is possibly, some would say, taking the nuclear option.' Sue Thomas: 'I felt that I no option other than to do that, and again naively I thought that if I went higher up that at some stage, some level, somebody would listen. But apparently not.' In Nov/Dec 2005, I emailed 2 letters to all levels of management (including the CEO). I received a response to the first of these from (in date order): Mr Gerson Davies (then Director of Education); Mr Bryn Parry-Jones; Mr Eirian Evans. I received a response to the second from Mr Eirian Evans only. My 2 email letters, and the responses to the first one, follow below. Email Letter 1 from Sue Thomas – sent to Bryn Parry-Jones (CEO PCC); Gerson Davies (Director of Educ PCC); Anne Wakefield (PCC Educ Dept); Francis Maull (Head of Personnel PCC); Eirian Evans (Head of Youth Service PCC); Cathryn Davies (PCC Personnel Dept): 9 November 2005 Dear Colleagues Re; Recent/current investgations being carried out by County Youth Officer, Eirian Evans and Personnel Officer, Cathryn Davies. I would like it put on record that I am totally dissatisfied with the way in which the above matter has been handled within the Youth Service/Education Department of Pembrokeshire County Council, by the above named members of staff and possibly others. Policy/procedure has not been followed; there has been a general lack of discretion, communication and respect shown; intimidation tactics have been employed; and attitudes/decisions made indicate views on 'appropriate behaviour with children' to be widely divergent from today's accepted (or acceptable) norms as indicated by Youth Work national bodies; other county councils; independent organisations; experts in the field; and the police force. When members of the Youth Action Team made the decision to come forward with their very real concerns, the very least they expected was to be taken seriously by their own management. The team members concerned are professional, dedicated youth workers who consider the well-being of children to be paramount. Very little of which has occurred since certain information was made known to Eirian Evans, initially over 15 months ago (not by myself), has indicated that PCC is willing or able to deal with this matter appropriately. Yesterday's fiasco was no exception. The idea of demanding team members to attend such a meeting completely 'blind' was more than ill-advised, it was intimidatory and showed a complete lack of concern for those team members involved in the investigation. The fact that one member left the room in tears at one point only testifies to this. I was 'lucky' in that I had been informed of the basis of the meeting. I did notify Cathryn Davies that I thought it was totally inappropriate for MS to be present. Even more disturbing was the general tone of the prepared statement by Eirian Evans indicating that PCC considers MS to be the victim in all of this. It has been intimated that there is some kind of personal vendetta being pursued against the above person. If this were true, why are there at least eight professional youth workers that I am aware of, with serious concerns regarding the work practices of this person? These concerns span over many years – well before I came into youth work. The fact is, the reverse is true and MS has been making my professional life unbearable for over two and a half years, a fact easily verifiable. The stress I am under (and the rest of the team) is not invented – team members are becoming physically ill over this. Not only that, but I am in serious jeopardy of losing my job simply because I feel unable to work with this person as my line manager. How does that encourage others to come forward with concerns in the future? I do recall that at my induction into PCC several years ago Mr Parry-Jones, you did say that if we were having any problems that weren't getting resolved by management that we had to come and knock on your door – I'm doing that now. I am asking for a meeting between yourself, the directors concerned and those team members involved (excluding MS) to discuss how this matter can be sorted out. Unfortunately, I have become rather cynical so I have to add that I am fully prepared to take this into a wider arena if this matter isn't dealt with urgently. Yours sincerely Sue Thomas Youth Action Team Gerson Davies Response: 11 Nov 2005 Dear Ms Thomas Further to your e-mail dated 9 November 2005 In relation to the substantive issues raised therein it is my understanding that; i. the allegations were properly investigated in line with appropriate procedures; ii. the meeting with team members was requested by Unison. In all events it was appropriate; iii. matters relating to your employment are being considered in accordance with agreed procedures. I trust that you will appreciate that I cannot get involved at this stage. Please note that this is our corporate reply; I understand that a separate letter has been sent by the Chief Executive. Yours sincerely (Signature Here) G.W.Davies Director of Education Bryn Parry-Jones Response: 15 November 2005 Dear Ms Thomas Thank you for your e-mail of the 9 November. As the subject matter was about your personal circumstances, I felt it was more appropriate to reply by letter. You make reference to your recollection of my words during an induction session. I think I made it clear that I was referring to a facility for direct communication in the event of line managers not listening to reasonable suggestions for organisational improvement. Your perceived problem seems however to relate to your personal circumstances and your relationship with others. If you have a grievance about such matters, there are established procedures for you to follow and it would be inappropriate for me to intervene personally. I have no doubt that some other colleagues to whom you have also emailed will be able to help you accordingly. Yours sincerely (Signature Here) Chief Executive Eirian Evans Response: 17 November 2005 Dear Sue Further to the team briefing and your emailed response to that briefing addressed to the Chief Executive, to which I was copied in, I think it appropriate at this juncture to summarise where we are with your complaint against Mik Smith and the stage we have now reached in the absence procedure. 1. Your complaint against Mik Smith was fully investigated under the All Wales Child Protection Guidelines and an outcome obtained through the internal Disciplinary Procedure, the full details of which you are now aware. 2. The meeting held last Monday was considered to be in the best interests of openness and honesty and a way forward for the team members, by both the authority and your union. 3. (Personal information about absence review omitted). First offer of new line manager. Continues: As the overall manager of the Youth Service I have to consider the effect recent events has had on the team as a whole and even with a change of direct line management, there is a need for mediation between you and Mik Smith. My feeling is that to move forward for both of you such a mediation event should take place....... With mediation, I am advised, there can be no dictating on terms of outcome. I believe the above summarises the situation as it currently stands and welcome your views regarding your future with the Youth Service. Yours sincerely (Signature Here) Eirian Evans (County Youth Officer) Email Letter 2 from Sue Thomas– copied to Bryn Parry-Jones; Gerson Davies; Anne Wakefield; Cathryn Davies; Biddy Rawlence (Unison): Dear Eirian 3 December 2005 Firstly, I would like to put in a complaint against my line manager with regards to comments made recently. I was told first-hand yesterday, that whilst MS was on his Certificate Course training, very recently, he made statements about me to several youth workers – one from Pembrokeshire and several from Carmarthenshire County Council. Firstly, he stated that ‘it was Sue Thomas who put complaints in about me’ whilst discussing the recent team meeting of the 8th November; and secondly, he made comments about my PCC mobile phone bill being high ‘seeing I was supposed to be off sick’. MS’s flippant attitude to confidentiality has caused me a great deal of stress in the past (during my disciplinary in April and at other times) but this is the first time that I have been told directly from another person involved that he is making totally inappropriate comments to people, including workers from outside of PCC. His comments also make me question the credibility of PCC’s whistle blowing procedures and ethics. Do you believe that this behaviour is appropriate for a line manager, or any other employee of PCC for that matter? I expect action to be taken. Secondly, I think that you are well aware of my feelings about the ‘team meeting’ held on 8th November. I was as disappointed by the subsequent meeting on the 21st November, for the same reasons. Your letter of the 22nd November contradicts yours and the department’s actual attitude to the team in respect of the events in question. It is blatantly clear to all involved that you are not ‘available to discuss unresolved issues’; you do not have the remotest clue how difficult this process has been and continues to be for myself and the other team members involved; you are not taking any of our concerns seriously and you are not prepared to hear them being aired; you are well aware that inappropriate behaviour is continuing and yet you still continue to defend the person in question. You talk in your letter about a united team and yet you persist in trying to divide the team members. The team members’ perception of the situation is united but I understand why you are asking to see us individually as I appreciate how much easier it would be for you intimidate us on a one-to-one basis. I would like to draw your attention to some specifics. In the meeting of the 21st November, our minutes show, that you stated the following with regards to the investigation of the 11 reported incidents: That in supervision with MS during the investigation that you had told him that the reported incidents ‘weren’t appropriate ways of working’; That you hoped that he would have the things you discussed with him in the back of his mind at all times and that he doesn’t get himself into that situation ever again; That ‘I can say to you that if he does go down that line – I can’t defend him’; That you were not happy about having 11 allegations about any individual; That you felt ‘MS’ ‘had taken it on board straight away’ that ‘as a line manager he is seen as a role model’ and that he cannot be behaving in this way; That your feelings were that as a professional, he shouldn’t be doing it anyway. I am holding you to the above statements, in particular the one highlighted. If you are under misapprehension about the seriousness of the situation perhaps you should refer to other organisations - Hampshire County Council and Loughborough University Child Protection Policies are good examples, amongst many. I am at a loss why every single person outside of the small circle of PCC management seems to think that this matter is far from trivial. Your actions seem to suggest that you have no middle position between behaviour which is acceptable and behaviour which is illegal. There is a knife-edge position between the two. I question if a person continues to practise youth work along this line after having been formally warned by management whether: 1. The initial disciplinary action taken was severe enough to act as a deterrent; 2. The department conveyed to the person being investigated an impression that the behaviour was not in their opinion serious, either directly or indirectly; 3. The person is suitable to be working in any role with children. Apart from the seriousness of inappropriate behaviour in itself, it is my understanding of employment law, and I will stand corrected if wrong, that disobedience i.e. by ignoring a direct instruction from management, is an act of gross misconduct. You can slip in comments about ‘the well-being of young people’ but they are meaningless without action. I do appreciate it is not my role to decide on the action to be taken but I do see it as my duty as a youth worker to speak out at against inaction. Eirian, as far as the team and Unison are concerned this matter is far from being ‘dealt with’, particularly now. I would appreciate a response to the points raised above, and specifically to my complaint, as soon as possible. Yours sincerely Sue Thomas YAT To clarify, the April disciplinary I refer to in the second email above, is described here. Just prior to Easter 2005 (22 March) I telephoned Eirian Evans in County Hall, to ask for a meeting. I explained that I would be handing in a statement about my line manager's behaviour. At this point, Eirian Evans was fully aware I was bringing a whistleblowing complaint regarding child protection issues against Mik Smith. I was given a date (15 April) after the Easter holidays for the meeting. I was not a member of Unison at this time. On the 7 April (during the Easter school break), completely unexpectedly, I received notification of a disciplinary hearing to be held against me on the 13 April, 2 days before the whistleblowing meeting booked with Eirian Evans. This had been brought by Mik Smith; was to be chaired by Mik Smith; and involved trumped up charges of poor time keeping. I immediately asked for Eirian Evans to chair the disciplinary, but this was refused by Cathyrn Davies from personnel. When this matter was later examined by Unison I was informed that had they been involved at the time it would have been thrown out immediately. Despite meaningless 'evidence' being submitted by Smith, I was found guilty and given a verbal warning. I would also like to make it clear that by the time the above 2 email letters were written/sent to those stated, almost 8 months had passed since the start of the complaint process against Mik Smith. I had been subjected to a disciplinary process and other less obvious bullying tactics employed by the council and I was reaching the end of my tether. The lack of progress (as the team saw it) in trying to persuade PCC management that they had a serious problem on their hands with Mik Smith, had had an impact. My letters reflect this. At Pembrokeshire County Council's full council meeting on the 17 July 2014 (webcast questions 35 - 37), Cllr. Paul Miller raised several points regarding the 2005 Mik Smith investigation. Only at this point, after the BBC programmed had aired, did PCC make any public declaration that the Smith investigation had been badly flawed. Cllr Adams stated that Smith should have been given a formal final warning. Had this been the case he would have been dismissed in about October 2005, after further complaints had been received (via Unison). As it was, these further complaints were more or less ignored despite Eirian Evans stating in the team meeting of the 21 November (when discussing the whisleblowing complaints from Easter 2005) that he would not be able to 'defend' Mik Smith if he went down the same road again. Why he felt the need to 'defend' him in the first place has always been an issue. At the council meeting of the 17 July, Cllr Miller asked the following: 'In media publications recently a big play has been made of the fact that actually none of those involved in this investigation remain employed by the authority. Can I just seek an assurance that anyone who was aware or involved in that investigation has either left, or we're aware of their continued employment and the roll they have currently in our staff structure.' Cllr Adams responded: 'I can give that assurance to Cllr Miller …........... In terms of the professional staff who were involved in this case at that time, none of them are now working in the authority.' Cllr Adams continues: 'The suggestion you are making linking this matter to the Chief Executive is flawed'. He further commented that it would be highly unusual for the CEO to be informed of such complaints (e.g. the Mik Smith investigation). This may be the case in normal circumstances but fails to take into consideration the 2 email letters sent directly to the Mr Parry-Jones, detailed above. Cllr Miller states: 'I have seen the correspondence (i.e. namely the 2 emails and responses) between Mrs Thomas and the CEO about this case'. Cllr Adams responds: 'With regards to the correspondence between Mrs Thomas and the Chief Executive, I have seen that correspondence and I remain firmly of the opinion that the whistleblowing identity of Mrs Thomas was separate to that matter. The Chief Executive was wholly unaware that Mrs Thomas, or Ms Thomas, was a whistleblower; and I can categorically state that, having questioned the Chief Executive about it. And further misunderstanding has occurred here with that correspondence because the correspondence – and as I've said I've read it, I've even got it here – between the Chief Executive and Mrs Thomas does not, does not refer to Mr Smith. It refers to problems that she was experiencing with her line manager, who was in fact Mr Smith. Alright? It is not about his behaviour. And the Chief Executive replied in terms of advising her of a course of action which he felt, and the letter intimated, was the result of a breakdown of a personal relationship between an employee and her line manager. She was assigned another line manager subsequently but the Chief Executive suggested that she should undertake, erm, if she was not happy with the outcome, he quite properly advised her having referenced his opinion with the Head of HR, that she should appeal, err, the decision of who should line manage that person. So that is the context and that is the information in which correspondence was exchanged between the Chief Executive and Miss Thomas and it was not directly linked in any way, it was not, it is not, contained in the document that I have; it was not contained any concern that she had raised with the Chief Executive about the behaviour with children of Mr Smith. That is also absolutely categoric in the information I have here'. There are only 3 explanations, as far as I can see, for the above statements. Cllr Adams is lying about having read the correspondence; he is lying about the content of the correspondence; or he was supplied with altered/fabricated letters. Whichever is correct, the implications are serious. Had I lied on the BBC programme, no doubt PCC would have brought the power of the law to bear (quite correctly). Double standards are hard to combat – do I have any recourse against Jamie Adams for doing more than intimating that my comments on the programme were incorrect, no, he can continue to mislead (either intentionally or otherwise) without fear of any repercussions UNLESS there is someone reading this with the power to stop him and any others who do likewise. ***THE Chief Executive must have been aware of the Mik Smith case in November 2005 – he read and responded to my letter. Although his response was carefully constructed, there is no doubt that the letter (mine) he was replying to, was about child protection issues and specifically about the MS investigation. The responses from Gerson Davies and Eirian Evans, to the same email letter, make this clear.*** Cllr Adams also went on to comment at the 17 July meeting that he personally had no knowledge of the events at the time (2005) and had any other councillor been aware he would have expected them to have come forward. Cllr Reg Owens stated: 'I was aware at the time … and myself and other members did raise concerns which were mostly, mostly ignored.' Cllr Miller pointed out, both in the BBC programme and in the 17 July council meeting that many employees of PCC feel that they are unable to come forward with concerns to management. He stated that PCC was a 'dangerous place'. I would like to take this opportunity to stress that I believe he is as correct with that statement now, as he would have been had he said it in 2005, or at any time since. I know that intimidation/reprisa l tactics are being used now. I urge anyone in this position to contact Unison and/or Cllr Paul Miller. In conclusion, throughout this process I have been asking whom, if anyone, oversees the actions of a county council in Wales? Is it government in Cardiff? The fact that PCC top management continues to mislead about such serious matters, despite having recently been under special measures, speaks volumes. They feel safe, which is a dangerous state of affairs. My aim in sending this letter out is to highlight the fact that it is, and will remain 'business as usual' in Pembrokeshire County Council until those of you who are able to do something about it, act. It's as simple as that. The current protagonists will never change the way they operate. The recent comments made in the council meeting prove that. And, bear in mind, a paedophile who could have been removed from contact with the most vulnerable children in the county was allowed to continue in post for at least 7 years after they knew he was a risk. I would also like to put it on record that the Mik Smith case was not the only child protection complaint swept under the carpet until CSSIW/Estyn forced PCC's hand. A second worker was suspended and then sacked at the same time as Smith. Complaints against him had been raised by members of the Youth Service in 2010, resulting again in a wholly inappropriate response from the council. As I say, 'business as usual'. As a final point, for the record, I have not in any way benefited financially from anything connected to this case. The reverse is true. I was 43 years old when PCC sacked me – not an ideal situation to be in in terms of finding alternative employment anywhere in the country, not just in Pembrokeshire (as Paul Miller highlighted in the BBC programme). I am well aware that the Chief Executive, Mr Bryn Parry-Jones, earns close to one million pounds/4 years. Amazing what you can get in life if you've got dodgy ethics. Bitter – slightly; angry – very; frustrated – beyond words; and extremely worried - that the real issue, of how and why several tiers of management (including the CEO) have to all intents and purposes ignored child protection complaints specifically relating to their own employees for over 10 years, becomes lost in the continuous mess which seems to envelop PCC. Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you are in a position to follow up on any points raised, I would be grateful if you would do so. Regards Sue Thomas 24 July 2014 Sue T/K
  • Score: 39

11:58am Fri 1 Aug 14

Welshman23 says...

I wrote to the first minister with my concerns about PCC I received this response this morning. In a nutshell they could not care less. I have sent an e mail to Mr Crabb some weeks ago not received a response. It seems. They could not care about local government.


Thank you for your email of 13 July to Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales on Pembrokeshire County Council. I have been asked to reply.
The corporate governance arrangements of all Welsh local authorities, including Pembrokeshire, are subject of annual reports issued by the Auditor General for Wales, and occasionally via special reports by the Wales Audit Office. Very occasionally, the Auditor General will issue statutory recommendations under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009, alerting the Welsh Ministers to a corporate failure at a local authority. This is not the case at Pembrokeshire, as we have not received any recommendations from Auditor General for Wales, neither has anything similar been suggested during our regular meetings with the WAO and other regulatory bodies. It would be highly unusual for Welsh Ministers to intervene in the running of a local authority without a recommendation from the Auditor General for Wales to do so.
While I understand your frustration and concerns with events at Pembrokeshire County Council the Welsh Government currently has no plans to intervene in the running of that authority. However, I can assure you that the First Minister, and the Minister for Local Government and Government Business, take seriously the concerns you, and others, have expressed about Pembrokeshire County Council and they will continue to monitor the situation closely.
I wrote to the first minister with my concerns about PCC I received this response this morning. In a nutshell they could not care less. I have sent an e mail to Mr Crabb some weeks ago not received a response. It seems. They could not care about local government. Thank you for your email of 13 July to Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales on Pembrokeshire County Council. I have been asked to reply. The corporate governance arrangements of all Welsh local authorities, including Pembrokeshire, are subject of annual reports issued by the Auditor General for Wales, and occasionally via special reports by the Wales Audit Office. Very occasionally, the Auditor General will issue statutory recommendations under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009, alerting the Welsh Ministers to a corporate failure at a local authority. This is not the case at Pembrokeshire, as we have not received any recommendations from Auditor General for Wales, neither has anything similar been suggested during our regular meetings with the WAO and other regulatory bodies. It would be highly unusual for Welsh Ministers to intervene in the running of a local authority without a recommendation from the Auditor General for Wales to do so. While I understand your frustration and concerns with events at Pembrokeshire County Council the Welsh Government currently has no plans to intervene in the running of that authority. However, I can assure you that the First Minister, and the Minister for Local Government and Government Business, take seriously the concerns you, and others, have expressed about Pembrokeshire County Council and they will continue to monitor the situation closely. Welshman23
  • Score: 4

12:41pm Fri 1 Aug 14

KeanJo says...

The Welsh Assembly is another layer of expensive useless bureaucracy we could do without.
The Welsh Assembly is another layer of expensive useless bureaucracy we could do without. KeanJo
  • Score: 5

6:48pm Fri 1 Aug 14

seaveiw says...

Welshman23 wrote:
I wrote to the first minister with my concerns about PCC I received this response this morning. In a nutshell they could not care less. I have sent an e mail to Mr Crabb some weeks ago not received a response. It seems. They could not care about local government.


Thank you for your email of 13 July to Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales on Pembrokeshire County Council. I have been asked to reply.
The corporate governance arrangements of all Welsh local authorities, including Pembrokeshire, are subject of annual reports issued by the Auditor General for Wales, and occasionally via special reports by the Wales Audit Office. Very occasionally, the Auditor General will issue statutory recommendations under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009, alerting the Welsh Ministers to a corporate failure at a local authority. This is not the case at Pembrokeshire, as we have not received any recommendations from Auditor General for Wales, neither has anything similar been suggested during our regular meetings with the WAO and other regulatory bodies. It would be highly unusual for Welsh Ministers to intervene in the running of a local authority without a recommendation from the Auditor General for Wales to do so.
While I understand your frustration and concerns with events at Pembrokeshire County Council the Welsh Government currently has no plans to intervene in the running of that authority. However, I can assure you that the First Minister, and the Minister for Local Government and Government Business, take seriously the concerns you, and others, have expressed about Pembrokeshire County Council and they will continue to monitor the situation closely.
i thought the auditor general had said the pension payments were unlawful.
[quote][p][bold]Welshman23[/bold] wrote: I wrote to the first minister with my concerns about PCC I received this response this morning. In a nutshell they could not care less. I have sent an e mail to Mr Crabb some weeks ago not received a response. It seems. They could not care about local government. Thank you for your email of 13 July to Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales on Pembrokeshire County Council. I have been asked to reply. The corporate governance arrangements of all Welsh local authorities, including Pembrokeshire, are subject of annual reports issued by the Auditor General for Wales, and occasionally via special reports by the Wales Audit Office. Very occasionally, the Auditor General will issue statutory recommendations under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009, alerting the Welsh Ministers to a corporate failure at a local authority. This is not the case at Pembrokeshire, as we have not received any recommendations from Auditor General for Wales, neither has anything similar been suggested during our regular meetings with the WAO and other regulatory bodies. It would be highly unusual for Welsh Ministers to intervene in the running of a local authority without a recommendation from the Auditor General for Wales to do so. While I understand your frustration and concerns with events at Pembrokeshire County Council the Welsh Government currently has no plans to intervene in the running of that authority. However, I can assure you that the First Minister, and the Minister for Local Government and Government Business, take seriously the concerns you, and others, have expressed about Pembrokeshire County Council and they will continue to monitor the situation closely.[/p][/quote]i thought the auditor general had said the pension payments were unlawful. seaveiw
  • Score: 5

8:54am Sat 2 Aug 14

Indeview J Hudson says...

Welshman23,

Can I use your letter from Welsh Ministers to request the Auditor General to undertake a Report in the Public Interest into the Corporate Governance Arrangements of PCC?
Welshman23, Can I use your letter from Welsh Ministers to request the Auditor General to undertake a Report in the Public Interest into the Corporate Governance Arrangements of PCC? Indeview J Hudson
  • Score: 3

11:35am Sat 2 Aug 14

Welshman23 says...

Indeview J Hudson wrote:
Welshman23,

Can I use your letter from Welsh Ministers to request the Auditor General to undertake a Report in the Public Interest into the Corporate Governance Arrangements of PCC?
You are free to use my letter if it gets something done.
[quote][p][bold]Indeview J Hudson[/bold] wrote: Welshman23, Can I use your letter from Welsh Ministers to request the Auditor General to undertake a Report in the Public Interest into the Corporate Governance Arrangements of PCC?[/p][/quote]You are free to use my letter if it gets something done. Welshman23
  • Score: 2

11:44am Sat 2 Aug 14

Welshman23 says...

Sue T/K wrote:
Open Letter 24 July 2014 – Please feel free to reproduce/copy/forwa

rd publish (preferably unabridged)

Re: Pembrokeshire County Council

From: Sue Thomas (Whistleblower Pembrokeshire County Council - Mik Smith Case 2005)

To whom it may concern:
I agreed to appear in the BBC Wales Week in Week Out programme broadcast on 15 July 2014 to highlight the failings of Pembrokeshire County Council's Safeguarding Procedures, in light of Mik Smith's imprisonment for child abuse offences at the beginning of July. I felt that the statements being released from County Hall after Smith's conviction, were verging on self-congratulatory and were misleading in the extreme. PCC were distancing themselves from any form of mistake or wrongdoing regarding Smith and I wanted the establishment in general and the public in Pembrokeshire to be made aware of the facts as I (and many former colleagues) saw them.
Everything I said in the programme (and 5 more hours of tape) was factual. I am in possession of all the corroborating letters; meeting recordings; etc. The BBC legal department were fastidious in checking everything I stated, before the programme aired, and the 'Week in Week Out' team themselves are professional and highly regarded – it was not a 'gutter press' production.

In that BBC programme, the following statements were made:

Sue Thomas: '…..There were so many good, hard-working professional people that came forward with complaints – I cannot understand why we weren't listened to.'

Tim Rogers (reporter): 'Sue Thomas was deeply unhappy with the investigation so she went a step further.'

Sue Thomas: 'I emailed right through the Education Department – through the Director of Education up to Bryn Parry-Jones – giving the teams concerns, not just mine personally, and putting the points across.'

Tim Rogers: 'Writing to the Chief Executive and to the senior members of the council is possibly, some would say, taking the nuclear option.'

Sue Thomas: 'I felt that I no option other than to do that, and again naively I thought that if I went higher up that at some stage, some level, somebody would listen. But apparently not.'

In Nov/Dec 2005, I emailed 2 letters to all levels of management (including the CEO). I received a response to the first of these from (in date order): Mr Gerson Davies (then Director of Education); Mr Bryn Parry-Jones; Mr Eirian Evans. I received a response to the second from Mr Eirian Evans only. My 2 email letters, and the responses to the first one, follow below.

Email Letter 1 from Sue Thomas – sent to Bryn Parry-Jones (CEO PCC); Gerson Davies (Director of Educ PCC); Anne Wakefield (PCC Educ Dept); Francis Maull (Head of Personnel PCC); Eirian Evans (Head of Youth Service PCC); Cathryn Davies (PCC Personnel Dept):

9 November 2005

Dear Colleagues
Re; Recent/current investgations being carried out by County Youth Officer, Eirian Evans and Personnel Officer, Cathryn Davies.
I would like it put on record that I am totally dissatisfied with the way in which the above matter has been handled within the Youth Service/Education Department of Pembrokeshire County Council, by the above named members of staff and possibly others. Policy/procedure has not been followed; there has been a general lack of discretion, communication and respect shown; intimidation tactics have been employed; and attitudes/decisions made indicate views on 'appropriate behaviour with children' to be widely divergent from today's accepted (or acceptable) norms as indicated by Youth Work national bodies; other county councils; independent organisations; experts in the field; and the police force.
When members of the Youth Action Team made the decision to come forward with their very real concerns, the very least they expected was to be taken seriously by their own management. The team members concerned are professional, dedicated youth workers who consider the well-being of children to be paramount. Very little of which has occurred since certain information was made known to Eirian Evans, initially over 15 months ago (not by myself), has indicated that PCC is willing or able to deal with this matter appropriately. Yesterday's fiasco was no exception. The idea of demanding team members to attend such a meeting completely 'blind' was more than ill-advised, it was intimidatory and showed a complete lack of concern for those team members involved in the investigation. The fact that one member left the room in tears at one point only testifies to this. I was 'lucky' in that I had been informed of the basis of the meeting. I did notify Cathryn Davies that I thought it was totally inappropriate for MS to be present. Even more disturbing was the general tone of the prepared statement by Eirian Evans indicating that PCC considers MS to be the victim in all of this.
It has been intimated that there is some kind of personal vendetta being pursued against the above person. If this were true, why are there at least eight professional youth workers that I am aware of, with serious concerns regarding the work practices of this person? These concerns span over many years – well before I came into youth work. The fact is, the reverse is true and MS has been making my professional life unbearable for over two and a half years, a fact easily verifiable. The stress I am under (and the rest of the team) is not invented – team members are becoming physically ill over this. Not only that, but I am in serious jeopardy of losing my job simply because I feel unable to work with this person as my line manager. How does that encourage others to come forward with concerns in the future?
I do recall that at my induction into PCC several years ago Mr Parry-Jones, you did say that if we were having any problems that weren't getting resolved by management that we had to come and knock on your door – I'm doing that now. I am asking for a meeting between yourself, the directors concerned and those team members involved (excluding MS) to discuss how this matter can be sorted out. Unfortunately, I have become rather cynical so I have to add that I am fully prepared to take this into a wider arena if this matter isn't dealt with urgently.
Yours sincerely
Sue Thomas
Youth Action Team

Gerson Davies Response:

11 Nov 2005
Dear Ms Thomas
Further to your e-mail dated 9 November 2005
In relation to the substantive issues raised therein it is my understanding that;
i. the allegations were properly investigated in line with appropriate procedures;
ii. the meeting with team members was requested by Unison. In all events it was appropriate;
iii. matters relating to your employment are being considered in accordance with agreed procedures. I trust that you will appreciate that I cannot get involved at this stage.
Please note that this is our corporate reply; I understand that a separate letter has been sent by the Chief Executive.
Yours sincerely
(Signature Here)
G.W.Davies
Director of Education

Bryn Parry-Jones Response:

15 November 2005
Dear Ms Thomas
Thank you for your e-mail of the 9 November. As the subject matter was about your personal circumstances, I felt it was more appropriate to reply by letter.
You make reference to your recollection of my words during an induction session. I think I made it clear that I was referring to a facility for direct communication in the event of line managers not listening to reasonable suggestions for organisational improvement. Your perceived problem seems however to relate to your personal circumstances and your relationship with others. If you have a grievance about such matters, there are established procedures for you to follow and it would be inappropriate for me to intervene personally. I have no doubt that some other colleagues to whom you have also emailed will be able to help you accordingly.
Yours sincerely
(Signature Here)
Chief Executive

Eirian Evans Response:

17 November 2005
Dear Sue
Further to the team briefing and your emailed response to that briefing addressed to the Chief Executive, to which I was copied in, I think it appropriate at this juncture to summarise where we are with your complaint against Mik Smith and the stage we have now reached in the absence procedure.
1. Your complaint against Mik Smith was fully investigated under the All Wales Child Protection Guidelines and an outcome obtained through the internal Disciplinary Procedure, the full details of which you are now aware.
2. The meeting held last Monday was considered to be in the best interests of openness and honesty and a way forward for the team members, by both the authority and your union.
3. (Personal information about absence review omitted). First offer of new line manager. Continues: As the overall manager of the Youth Service I have to consider the effect recent events has had on the team as a whole and even with a change of direct line management, there is a need for mediation between you and Mik Smith. My feeling is that to move forward for both of you such a mediation event should take place....... With mediation, I am advised, there can be no dictating on terms of outcome.
I believe the above summarises the situation as it currently stands and welcome your views regarding your future with the Youth Service.
Yours sincerely
(Signature Here)
Eirian Evans (County Youth Officer)

Email Letter 2 from Sue Thomas– copied to Bryn Parry-Jones; Gerson Davies; Anne Wakefield; Cathryn Davies; Biddy Rawlence (Unison):

Dear Eirian

3 December 2005
Firstly, I would like to put in a complaint against my line manager with regards to comments made recently. I was told first-hand yesterday, that whilst MS was on his Certificate Course training, very recently, he made statements about me to several youth workers – one from Pembrokeshire and several from Carmarthenshire County Council. Firstly, he stated that ‘it was Sue Thomas who put complaints in about me’ whilst discussing the recent team meeting of the 8th November; and secondly, he made comments about my PCC mobile phone bill being high ‘seeing I was supposed to be off sick’.
MS’s flippant attitude to confidentiality has caused me a great deal of stress in the past (during my disciplinary in April and at other times) but this is the first time that I have been told directly from another person involved that he is making totally inappropriate comments to people, including workers from outside of PCC. His comments also make me question the credibility of PCC’s whistle blowing procedures and ethics. Do you believe that this behaviour is appropriate for a line manager, or any other employee of PCC for that matter? I expect action to be taken.
Secondly, I think that you are well aware of my feelings about the ‘team meeting’ held on 8th November. I was as disappointed by the subsequent meeting on the 21st November, for the same reasons. Your letter of the 22nd November contradicts yours and the department’s actual attitude to the team in respect of the events in question. It is blatantly clear to all involved that you are not ‘available to discuss unresolved issues’; you do not have the remotest clue how difficult this process has been and continues to be for myself and the other team members involved; you are not taking any of our concerns seriously and you are not prepared to hear them being aired; you are well aware that inappropriate behaviour is continuing and yet you still continue to defend the person in question. You talk in your letter about a united team and yet you persist in trying to divide the team members. The team members’ perception of the situation is united but I understand why you are asking to see us individually as I appreciate how much easier it would be for you intimidate us on a one-to-one basis.
I would like to draw your attention to some specifics. In the meeting of the 21st November, our minutes show, that you stated the following with regards to the investigation of the 11 reported incidents:
That in supervision with MS during the investigation that you had told him that the reported incidents ‘weren’t appropriate ways of working’;
That you hoped that he would have the things you discussed with him in the back of his mind at all times and that he doesn’t get himself into that situation ever again;
That ‘I can say to you that if he does go down that line – I can’t defend him’;
That you were not happy about having 11 allegations about any individual;
That you felt ‘MS’ ‘had taken it on board straight away’ that ‘as a line manager he is seen as a role model’ and that he cannot be behaving in this way;
That your feelings were that as a professional, he shouldn’t be doing it anyway.
I am holding you to the above statements, in particular the one highlighted. If you are under misapprehension about the seriousness of the situation perhaps you should refer to other organisations - Hampshire County Council and Loughborough University Child Protection Policies are good examples, amongst many. I am at a loss why every single person outside of the small circle of PCC management seems to think that this matter is far from trivial. Your actions seem to suggest that you have no middle position between behaviour which is acceptable and behaviour which is illegal. There is a knife-edge position between the two. I question if a person continues to practise youth work along this line after having been formally warned by management whether:
1. The initial disciplinary action taken was severe enough to act as a deterrent;
2. The department conveyed to the person being investigated an impression that the behaviour was not in their opinion serious, either directly or indirectly;
3. The person is suitable to be working in any role with children.
Apart from the seriousness of inappropriate behaviour in itself, it is my understanding of employment law, and I will stand corrected if wrong, that disobedience i.e. by ignoring a direct instruction from management, is an act of gross misconduct. You can slip in comments about ‘the well-being of young people’ but they are meaningless without action. I do appreciate it is not my role to decide on the action to be taken but I do see it as my duty as a youth worker to speak out at against inaction. Eirian, as far as the team and Unison are concerned this matter is far from being ‘dealt with’, particularly now.
I would appreciate a response to the points raised above, and specifically to my complaint, as soon as possible.
Yours sincerely
Sue Thomas
YAT

To clarify, the April disciplinary I refer to in the second email above, is described here. Just prior to Easter 2005 (22 March) I telephoned Eirian Evans in County Hall, to ask for a meeting. I explained that I would be handing in a statement about my line manager's behaviour. At this point, Eirian Evans was fully aware I was bringing a whistleblowing complaint regarding child protection issues against Mik Smith. I was given a date (15 April) after the Easter holidays for the meeting. I was not a member of Unison at this time.
On the 7 April (during the Easter school break), completely unexpectedly, I received notification of a disciplinary hearing to be held against me on the 13 April, 2 days before the whistleblowing meeting booked with Eirian Evans. This had been brought by Mik Smith; was to be chaired by Mik Smith; and involved trumped up charges of poor time keeping. I immediately asked for Eirian Evans to chair the disciplinary, but this was refused by Cathyrn Davies from personnel. When this matter was later examined by Unison I was informed that had they been involved at the time it would have been thrown out immediately. Despite meaningless 'evidence' being submitted by Smith, I was found guilty and given a verbal warning.

I would also like to make it clear that by the time the above 2 email letters were written/sent to those stated, almost 8 months had passed since the start of the complaint process against Mik Smith.
I had been subjected to a disciplinary process and other less obvious bullying tactics employed by the council and I was reaching the end of my tether. The lack of progress (as the team saw it) in trying to persuade PCC management that they had a serious problem on their hands with Mik Smith, had had an impact. My letters reflect this.

At Pembrokeshire County Council's full council meeting on the 17 July 2014 (webcast questions 35 - 37), Cllr. Paul Miller raised several points regarding the 2005 Mik Smith investigation. Only at this point, after the BBC programmed had aired, did PCC make any public declaration that the Smith investigation had been badly flawed. Cllr Adams stated that Smith should have been given a formal final warning. Had this been the case he would have been dismissed in about October 2005, after further complaints had been received (via Unison). As it was, these further complaints were more or less ignored despite Eirian Evans stating in the team meeting of the 21 November (when discussing the whisleblowing complaints from Easter 2005) that he would not be able to 'defend' Mik Smith if he went down the same road again. Why he felt the need to 'defend' him in the first place has always been an issue.

At the council meeting of the 17 July, Cllr Miller asked the following:

'In media publications recently a big play has been made of the fact that actually none of those involved in this investigation remain employed by the authority. Can I just seek an assurance that anyone who was aware or involved in that investigation has either left, or we're aware of their continued employment and the roll they have currently in our staff structure.'

Cllr Adams responded:

'I can give that assurance to Cllr Miller …........... In terms of the professional staff who were involved in this case at that time, none of them are now working in the authority.'

Cllr Adams continues:

'The suggestion you are making linking this matter to the Chief Executive is flawed'.
He further commented that it would be highly unusual for the CEO to be informed of such complaints (e.g. the Mik Smith investigation). This may be the case in normal circumstances but fails to take into consideration the 2 email letters sent directly to the Mr Parry-Jones, detailed above.

Cllr Miller states:

'I have seen the correspondence (i.e. namely the 2 emails and responses) between Mrs Thomas and the CEO about this case'.

Cllr Adams responds:

'With regards to the correspondence between Mrs Thomas and the Chief Executive, I have seen that correspondence and I remain firmly of the opinion that the whistleblowing identity of Mrs Thomas was separate to that matter. The Chief Executive was wholly unaware that Mrs Thomas, or Ms Thomas, was a whistleblower; and I can categorically state that, having questioned the Chief Executive about it.
And further misunderstanding has occurred here with that correspondence because the correspondence – and as I've said I've read it, I've even got it here – between the Chief Executive and Mrs Thomas does not, does not refer to Mr Smith. It refers to problems that she was experiencing with her line manager, who was in fact Mr Smith. Alright?
It is not about his behaviour. And the Chief Executive replied in terms of advising her of a course of action which he felt, and the letter intimated, was the result of a breakdown of a personal relationship between an employee and her line manager.
She was assigned another line manager subsequently but the Chief Executive suggested that she should undertake, erm, if she was not happy with the outcome, he quite properly advised her having referenced his opinion with the Head of HR, that she should appeal, err, the decision of who should line manage that person.
So that is the context and that is the information in which correspondence was exchanged between the Chief Executive and Miss Thomas and it was not directly linked in any way, it was not, it is not, contained in the document that I have; it was not contained any concern that she had raised with the Chief Executive about the behaviour with children of Mr Smith. That is also absolutely categoric in the information I have here'.

There are only 3 explanations, as far as I can see, for the above statements. Cllr Adams is lying about having read the correspondence; he is lying about the content of the correspondence; or he was supplied with altered/fabricated letters. Whichever is correct, the implications are serious. Had I lied on the BBC programme, no doubt PCC would have brought the power of the law to bear (quite correctly). Double standards are hard to combat – do I have any recourse against Jamie Adams for doing more than intimating that my comments on the programme were incorrect, no, he can continue to mislead (either intentionally or otherwise) without fear of any repercussions UNLESS there is someone reading this with the power to stop him and any others who do likewise.

***THE Chief Executive must have been aware of the Mik Smith case in November 2005 – he read and responded to my letter. Although his response was carefully constructed, there is no doubt that the letter (mine) he was replying to, was about child protection issues and specifically about the MS investigation. The responses from Gerson Davies and Eirian Evans, to the same email letter, make this clear.***

Cllr Adams also went on to comment at the 17 July meeting that he personally had no knowledge of the events at the time (2005) and had any other councillor been aware he would have expected them to have come forward. Cllr Reg Owens stated: 'I was aware at the time … and myself and other members did raise concerns which were mostly, mostly ignored.'

Cllr Miller pointed out, both in the BBC programme and in the 17 July council meeting that many employees of PCC feel that they are unable to come forward with concerns to management. He stated that PCC was a 'dangerous place'. I would like to take this opportunity to stress that I believe he is as correct with that statement now, as he would have been had he said it in 2005, or at any time since. I know that intimidation/reprisa

l tactics are being used now. I urge anyone in this position to contact Unison and/or Cllr Paul Miller.

In conclusion, throughout this process I have been asking whom, if anyone, oversees the actions of a county council in Wales? Is it government in Cardiff? The fact that PCC top management continues to mislead about such serious matters, despite having recently been under special measures, speaks volumes. They feel safe, which is a dangerous state of affairs.

My aim in sending this letter out is to highlight the fact that it is, and will remain 'business as usual' in Pembrokeshire County Council until those of you who are able to do something about it, act. It's as simple as that. The current protagonists will never change the way they operate. The recent comments made in the council meeting prove that. And, bear in mind, a paedophile who could have been removed from contact with the most vulnerable children in the county was allowed to continue in post for at least 7 years after they knew he was a risk.

I would also like to put it on record that the Mik Smith case was not the only child protection complaint swept under the carpet until CSSIW/Estyn forced PCC's hand. A second worker was suspended and then sacked at the same time as Smith. Complaints against him had been raised by members of the Youth Service in 2010, resulting again in a wholly inappropriate response from the council. As I say, 'business as usual'.

As a final point, for the record, I have not in any way benefited financially from anything connected to this case. The reverse is true. I was 43 years old when PCC sacked me – not an ideal situation to be in in terms of finding alternative employment anywhere in the country, not just in Pembrokeshire (as Paul Miller highlighted in the BBC programme). I am well aware that the Chief Executive, Mr Bryn Parry-Jones, earns close to one million pounds/4 years. Amazing what you can get in life if you've got dodgy ethics. Bitter – slightly; angry – very; frustrated – beyond words; and extremely worried - that the real issue, of how and why several tiers of management (including the CEO) have to all intents and purposes ignored child protection complaints specifically relating to their own employees for over 10 years, becomes lost in the continuous mess which seems to envelop PCC.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you are in a position to follow up on any points raised, I would be grateful if you would do so.
Regards
Sue Thomas
24 July 2014
Hi Sue
Were you dismissed from the council or forced to resign regarding these issues.
If so there must be a case for constructive dismissal.
[quote][p][bold]Sue T/K[/bold] wrote: Open Letter 24 July 2014 – Please feel free to reproduce/copy/forwa rd publish (preferably unabridged) Re: Pembrokeshire County Council From: Sue Thomas (Whistleblower Pembrokeshire County Council - Mik Smith Case 2005) To whom it may concern: I agreed to appear in the BBC Wales Week in Week Out programme broadcast on 15 July 2014 to highlight the failings of Pembrokeshire County Council's Safeguarding Procedures, in light of Mik Smith's imprisonment for child abuse offences at the beginning of July. I felt that the statements being released from County Hall after Smith's conviction, were verging on self-congratulatory and were misleading in the extreme. PCC were distancing themselves from any form of mistake or wrongdoing regarding Smith and I wanted the establishment in general and the public in Pembrokeshire to be made aware of the facts as I (and many former colleagues) saw them. Everything I said in the programme (and 5 more hours of tape) was factual. I am in possession of all the corroborating letters; meeting recordings; etc. The BBC legal department were fastidious in checking everything I stated, before the programme aired, and the 'Week in Week Out' team themselves are professional and highly regarded – it was not a 'gutter press' production. In that BBC programme, the following statements were made: Sue Thomas: '…..There were so many good, hard-working professional people that came forward with complaints – I cannot understand why we weren't listened to.' Tim Rogers (reporter): 'Sue Thomas was deeply unhappy with the investigation so she went a step further.' Sue Thomas: 'I emailed right through the Education Department – through the Director of Education up to Bryn Parry-Jones – giving the teams concerns, not just mine personally, and putting the points across.' Tim Rogers: 'Writing to the Chief Executive and to the senior members of the council is possibly, some would say, taking the nuclear option.' Sue Thomas: 'I felt that I no option other than to do that, and again naively I thought that if I went higher up that at some stage, some level, somebody would listen. But apparently not.' In Nov/Dec 2005, I emailed 2 letters to all levels of management (including the CEO). I received a response to the first of these from (in date order): Mr Gerson Davies (then Director of Education); Mr Bryn Parry-Jones; Mr Eirian Evans. I received a response to the second from Mr Eirian Evans only. My 2 email letters, and the responses to the first one, follow below. Email Letter 1 from Sue Thomas – sent to Bryn Parry-Jones (CEO PCC); Gerson Davies (Director of Educ PCC); Anne Wakefield (PCC Educ Dept); Francis Maull (Head of Personnel PCC); Eirian Evans (Head of Youth Service PCC); Cathryn Davies (PCC Personnel Dept): 9 November 2005 Dear Colleagues Re; Recent/current investgations being carried out by County Youth Officer, Eirian Evans and Personnel Officer, Cathryn Davies. I would like it put on record that I am totally dissatisfied with the way in which the above matter has been handled within the Youth Service/Education Department of Pembrokeshire County Council, by the above named members of staff and possibly others. Policy/procedure has not been followed; there has been a general lack of discretion, communication and respect shown; intimidation tactics have been employed; and attitudes/decisions made indicate views on 'appropriate behaviour with children' to be widely divergent from today's accepted (or acceptable) norms as indicated by Youth Work national bodies; other county councils; independent organisations; experts in the field; and the police force. When members of the Youth Action Team made the decision to come forward with their very real concerns, the very least they expected was to be taken seriously by their own management. The team members concerned are professional, dedicated youth workers who consider the well-being of children to be paramount. Very little of which has occurred since certain information was made known to Eirian Evans, initially over 15 months ago (not by myself), has indicated that PCC is willing or able to deal with this matter appropriately. Yesterday's fiasco was no exception. The idea of demanding team members to attend such a meeting completely 'blind' was more than ill-advised, it was intimidatory and showed a complete lack of concern for those team members involved in the investigation. The fact that one member left the room in tears at one point only testifies to this. I was 'lucky' in that I had been informed of the basis of the meeting. I did notify Cathryn Davies that I thought it was totally inappropriate for MS to be present. Even more disturbing was the general tone of the prepared statement by Eirian Evans indicating that PCC considers MS to be the victim in all of this. It has been intimated that there is some kind of personal vendetta being pursued against the above person. If this were true, why are there at least eight professional youth workers that I am aware of, with serious concerns regarding the work practices of this person? These concerns span over many years – well before I came into youth work. The fact is, the reverse is true and MS has been making my professional life unbearable for over two and a half years, a fact easily verifiable. The stress I am under (and the rest of the team) is not invented – team members are becoming physically ill over this. Not only that, but I am in serious jeopardy of losing my job simply because I feel unable to work with this person as my line manager. How does that encourage others to come forward with concerns in the future? I do recall that at my induction into PCC several years ago Mr Parry-Jones, you did say that if we were having any problems that weren't getting resolved by management that we had to come and knock on your door – I'm doing that now. I am asking for a meeting between yourself, the directors concerned and those team members involved (excluding MS) to discuss how this matter can be sorted out. Unfortunately, I have become rather cynical so I have to add that I am fully prepared to take this into a wider arena if this matter isn't dealt with urgently. Yours sincerely Sue Thomas Youth Action Team Gerson Davies Response: 11 Nov 2005 Dear Ms Thomas Further to your e-mail dated 9 November 2005 In relation to the substantive issues raised therein it is my understanding that; i. the allegations were properly investigated in line with appropriate procedures; ii. the meeting with team members was requested by Unison. In all events it was appropriate; iii. matters relating to your employment are being considered in accordance with agreed procedures. I trust that you will appreciate that I cannot get involved at this stage. Please note that this is our corporate reply; I understand that a separate letter has been sent by the Chief Executive. Yours sincerely (Signature Here) G.W.Davies Director of Education Bryn Parry-Jones Response: 15 November 2005 Dear Ms Thomas Thank you for your e-mail of the 9 November. As the subject matter was about your personal circumstances, I felt it was more appropriate to reply by letter. You make reference to your recollection of my words during an induction session. I think I made it clear that I was referring to a facility for direct communication in the event of line managers not listening to reasonable suggestions for organisational improvement. Your perceived problem seems however to relate to your personal circumstances and your relationship with others. If you have a grievance about such matters, there are established procedures for you to follow and it would be inappropriate for me to intervene personally. I have no doubt that some other colleagues to whom you have also emailed will be able to help you accordingly. Yours sincerely (Signature Here) Chief Executive Eirian Evans Response: 17 November 2005 Dear Sue Further to the team briefing and your emailed response to that briefing addressed to the Chief Executive, to which I was copied in, I think it appropriate at this juncture to summarise where we are with your complaint against Mik Smith and the stage we have now reached in the absence procedure. 1. Your complaint against Mik Smith was fully investigated under the All Wales Child Protection Guidelines and an outcome obtained through the internal Disciplinary Procedure, the full details of which you are now aware. 2. The meeting held last Monday was considered to be in the best interests of openness and honesty and a way forward for the team members, by both the authority and your union. 3. (Personal information about absence review omitted). First offer of new line manager. Continues: As the overall manager of the Youth Service I have to consider the effect recent events has had on the team as a whole and even with a change of direct line management, there is a need for mediation between you and Mik Smith. My feeling is that to move forward for both of you such a mediation event should take place....... With mediation, I am advised, there can be no dictating on terms of outcome. I believe the above summarises the situation as it currently stands and welcome your views regarding your future with the Youth Service. Yours sincerely (Signature Here) Eirian Evans (County Youth Officer) Email Letter 2 from Sue Thomas– copied to Bryn Parry-Jones; Gerson Davies; Anne Wakefield; Cathryn Davies; Biddy Rawlence (Unison): Dear Eirian 3 December 2005 Firstly, I would like to put in a complaint against my line manager with regards to comments made recently. I was told first-hand yesterday, that whilst MS was on his Certificate Course training, very recently, he made statements about me to several youth workers – one from Pembrokeshire and several from Carmarthenshire County Council. Firstly, he stated that ‘it was Sue Thomas who put complaints in about me’ whilst discussing the recent team meeting of the 8th November; and secondly, he made comments about my PCC mobile phone bill being high ‘seeing I was supposed to be off sick’. MS’s flippant attitude to confidentiality has caused me a great deal of stress in the past (during my disciplinary in April and at other times) but this is the first time that I have been told directly from another person involved that he is making totally inappropriate comments to people, including workers from outside of PCC. His comments also make me question the credibility of PCC’s whistle blowing procedures and ethics. Do you believe that this behaviour is appropriate for a line manager, or any other employee of PCC for that matter? I expect action to be taken. Secondly, I think that you are well aware of my feelings about the ‘team meeting’ held on 8th November. I was as disappointed by the subsequent meeting on the 21st November, for the same reasons. Your letter of the 22nd November contradicts yours and the department’s actual attitude to the team in respect of the events in question. It is blatantly clear to all involved that you are not ‘available to discuss unresolved issues’; you do not have the remotest clue how difficult this process has been and continues to be for myself and the other team members involved; you are not taking any of our concerns seriously and you are not prepared to hear them being aired; you are well aware that inappropriate behaviour is continuing and yet you still continue to defend the person in question. You talk in your letter about a united team and yet you persist in trying to divide the team members. The team members’ perception of the situation is united but I understand why you are asking to see us individually as I appreciate how much easier it would be for you intimidate us on a one-to-one basis. I would like to draw your attention to some specifics. In the meeting of the 21st November, our minutes show, that you stated the following with regards to the investigation of the 11 reported incidents: That in supervision with MS during the investigation that you had told him that the reported incidents ‘weren’t appropriate ways of working’; That you hoped that he would have the things you discussed with him in the back of his mind at all times and that he doesn’t get himself into that situation ever again; That ‘I can say to you that if he does go down that line – I can’t defend him’; That you were not happy about having 11 allegations about any individual; That you felt ‘MS’ ‘had taken it on board straight away’ that ‘as a line manager he is seen as a role model’ and that he cannot be behaving in this way; That your feelings were that as a professional, he shouldn’t be doing it anyway. I am holding you to the above statements, in particular the one highlighted. If you are under misapprehension about the seriousness of the situation perhaps you should refer to other organisations - Hampshire County Council and Loughborough University Child Protection Policies are good examples, amongst many. I am at a loss why every single person outside of the small circle of PCC management seems to think that this matter is far from trivial. Your actions seem to suggest that you have no middle position between behaviour which is acceptable and behaviour which is illegal. There is a knife-edge position between the two. I question if a person continues to practise youth work along this line after having been formally warned by management whether: 1. The initial disciplinary action taken was severe enough to act as a deterrent; 2. The department conveyed to the person being investigated an impression that the behaviour was not in their opinion serious, either directly or indirectly; 3. The person is suitable to be working in any role with children. Apart from the seriousness of inappropriate behaviour in itself, it is my understanding of employment law, and I will stand corrected if wrong, that disobedience i.e. by ignoring a direct instruction from management, is an act of gross misconduct. You can slip in comments about ‘the well-being of young people’ but they are meaningless without action. I do appreciate it is not my role to decide on the action to be taken but I do see it as my duty as a youth worker to speak out at against inaction. Eirian, as far as the team and Unison are concerned this matter is far from being ‘dealt with’, particularly now. I would appreciate a response to the points raised above, and specifically to my complaint, as soon as possible. Yours sincerely Sue Thomas YAT To clarify, the April disciplinary I refer to in the second email above, is described here. Just prior to Easter 2005 (22 March) I telephoned Eirian Evans in County Hall, to ask for a meeting. I explained that I would be handing in a statement about my line manager's behaviour. At this point, Eirian Evans was fully aware I was bringing a whistleblowing complaint regarding child protection issues against Mik Smith. I was given a date (15 April) after the Easter holidays for the meeting. I was not a member of Unison at this time. On the 7 April (during the Easter school break), completely unexpectedly, I received notification of a disciplinary hearing to be held against me on the 13 April, 2 days before the whistleblowing meeting booked with Eirian Evans. This had been brought by Mik Smith; was to be chaired by Mik Smith; and involved trumped up charges of poor time keeping. I immediately asked for Eirian Evans to chair the disciplinary, but this was refused by Cathyrn Davies from personnel. When this matter was later examined by Unison I was informed that had they been involved at the time it would have been thrown out immediately. Despite meaningless 'evidence' being submitted by Smith, I was found guilty and given a verbal warning. I would also like to make it clear that by the time the above 2 email letters were written/sent to those stated, almost 8 months had passed since the start of the complaint process against Mik Smith. I had been subjected to a disciplinary process and other less obvious bullying tactics employed by the council and I was reaching the end of my tether. The lack of progress (as the team saw it) in trying to persuade PCC management that they had a serious problem on their hands with Mik Smith, had had an impact. My letters reflect this. At Pembrokeshire County Council's full council meeting on the 17 July 2014 (webcast questions 35 - 37), Cllr. Paul Miller raised several points regarding the 2005 Mik Smith investigation. Only at this point, after the BBC programmed had aired, did PCC make any public declaration that the Smith investigation had been badly flawed. Cllr Adams stated that Smith should have been given a formal final warning. Had this been the case he would have been dismissed in about October 2005, after further complaints had been received (via Unison). As it was, these further complaints were more or less ignored despite Eirian Evans stating in the team meeting of the 21 November (when discussing the whisleblowing complaints from Easter 2005) that he would not be able to 'defend' Mik Smith if he went down the same road again. Why he felt the need to 'defend' him in the first place has always been an issue. At the council meeting of the 17 July, Cllr Miller asked the following: 'In media publications recently a big play has been made of the fact that actually none of those involved in this investigation remain employed by the authority. Can I just seek an assurance that anyone who was aware or involved in that investigation has either left, or we're aware of their continued employment and the roll they have currently in our staff structure.' Cllr Adams responded: 'I can give that assurance to Cllr Miller …........... In terms of the professional staff who were involved in this case at that time, none of them are now working in the authority.' Cllr Adams continues: 'The suggestion you are making linking this matter to the Chief Executive is flawed'. He further commented that it would be highly unusual for the CEO to be informed of such complaints (e.g. the Mik Smith investigation). This may be the case in normal circumstances but fails to take into consideration the 2 email letters sent directly to the Mr Parry-Jones, detailed above. Cllr Miller states: 'I have seen the correspondence (i.e. namely the 2 emails and responses) between Mrs Thomas and the CEO about this case'. Cllr Adams responds: 'With regards to the correspondence between Mrs Thomas and the Chief Executive, I have seen that correspondence and I remain firmly of the opinion that the whistleblowing identity of Mrs Thomas was separate to that matter. The Chief Executive was wholly unaware that Mrs Thomas, or Ms Thomas, was a whistleblower; and I can categorically state that, having questioned the Chief Executive about it. And further misunderstanding has occurred here with that correspondence because the correspondence – and as I've said I've read it, I've even got it here – between the Chief Executive and Mrs Thomas does not, does not refer to Mr Smith. It refers to problems that she was experiencing with her line manager, who was in fact Mr Smith. Alright? It is not about his behaviour. And the Chief Executive replied in terms of advising her of a course of action which he felt, and the letter intimated, was the result of a breakdown of a personal relationship between an employee and her line manager. She was assigned another line manager subsequently but the Chief Executive suggested that she should undertake, erm, if she was not happy with the outcome, he quite properly advised her having referenced his opinion with the Head of HR, that she should appeal, err, the decision of who should line manage that person. So that is the context and that is the information in which correspondence was exchanged between the Chief Executive and Miss Thomas and it was not directly linked in any way, it was not, it is not, contained in the document that I have; it was not contained any concern that she had raised with the Chief Executive about the behaviour with children of Mr Smith. That is also absolutely categoric in the information I have here'. There are only 3 explanations, as far as I can see, for the above statements. Cllr Adams is lying about having read the correspondence; he is lying about the content of the correspondence; or he was supplied with altered/fabricated letters. Whichever is correct, the implications are serious. Had I lied on the BBC programme, no doubt PCC would have brought the power of the law to bear (quite correctly). Double standards are hard to combat – do I have any recourse against Jamie Adams for doing more than intimating that my comments on the programme were incorrect, no, he can continue to mislead (either intentionally or otherwise) without fear of any repercussions UNLESS there is someone reading this with the power to stop him and any others who do likewise. ***THE Chief Executive must have been aware of the Mik Smith case in November 2005 – he read and responded to my letter. Although his response was carefully constructed, there is no doubt that the letter (mine) he was replying to, was about child protection issues and specifically about the MS investigation. The responses from Gerson Davies and Eirian Evans, to the same email letter, make this clear.*** Cllr Adams also went on to comment at the 17 July meeting that he personally had no knowledge of the events at the time (2005) and had any other councillor been aware he would have expected them to have come forward. Cllr Reg Owens stated: 'I was aware at the time … and myself and other members did raise concerns which were mostly, mostly ignored.' Cllr Miller pointed out, both in the BBC programme and in the 17 July council meeting that many employees of PCC feel that they are unable to come forward with concerns to management. He stated that PCC was a 'dangerous place'. I would like to take this opportunity to stress that I believe he is as correct with that statement now, as he would have been had he said it in 2005, or at any time since. I know that intimidation/reprisa l tactics are being used now. I urge anyone in this position to contact Unison and/or Cllr Paul Miller. In conclusion, throughout this process I have been asking whom, if anyone, oversees the actions of a county council in Wales? Is it government in Cardiff? The fact that PCC top management continues to mislead about such serious matters, despite having recently been under special measures, speaks volumes. They feel safe, which is a dangerous state of affairs. My aim in sending this letter out is to highlight the fact that it is, and will remain 'business as usual' in Pembrokeshire County Council until those of you who are able to do something about it, act. It's as simple as that. The current protagonists will never change the way they operate. The recent comments made in the council meeting prove that. And, bear in mind, a paedophile who could have been removed from contact with the most vulnerable children in the county was allowed to continue in post for at least 7 years after they knew he was a risk. I would also like to put it on record that the Mik Smith case was not the only child protection complaint swept under the carpet until CSSIW/Estyn forced PCC's hand. A second worker was suspended and then sacked at the same time as Smith. Complaints against him had been raised by members of the Youth Service in 2010, resulting again in a wholly inappropriate response from the council. As I say, 'business as usual'. As a final point, for the record, I have not in any way benefited financially from anything connected to this case. The reverse is true. I was 43 years old when PCC sacked me – not an ideal situation to be in in terms of finding alternative employment anywhere in the country, not just in Pembrokeshire (as Paul Miller highlighted in the BBC programme). I am well aware that the Chief Executive, Mr Bryn Parry-Jones, earns close to one million pounds/4 years. Amazing what you can get in life if you've got dodgy ethics. Bitter – slightly; angry – very; frustrated – beyond words; and extremely worried - that the real issue, of how and why several tiers of management (including the CEO) have to all intents and purposes ignored child protection complaints specifically relating to their own employees for over 10 years, becomes lost in the continuous mess which seems to envelop PCC. Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you are in a position to follow up on any points raised, I would be grateful if you would do so. Regards Sue Thomas 24 July 2014[/p][/quote]Hi Sue Were you dismissed from the council or forced to resign regarding these issues. If so there must be a case for constructive dismissal. Welshman23
  • Score: 6

11:49am Sat 2 Aug 14

Welshman23 says...

http://www.paulmille
rpembrokeshire.com/p
ayitback/
Gave a look on this website and look at the caption of BPJ. Brilliant
http://www.paulmille rpembrokeshire.com/p ayitback/ Gave a look on this website and look at the caption of BPJ. Brilliant Welshman23
  • Score: 6

11:51am Sat 2 Aug 14

Indeview J Hudson says...

Welshman23 wrote:
Indeview J Hudson wrote:
Welshman23,

Can I use your letter from Welsh Ministers to request the Auditor General to undertake a Report in the Public Interest into the Corporate Governance Arrangements of PCC?
You are free to use my letter if it gets something done.
Thank you. As the Council is unable or unwilling to address the internal problems that are apparent to some of us, The Auditor seems to be the only external body that can influence matters and that Welsh Ministers will take notice of.
[quote][p][bold]Welshman23[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Indeview J Hudson[/bold] wrote: Welshman23, Can I use your letter from Welsh Ministers to request the Auditor General to undertake a Report in the Public Interest into the Corporate Governance Arrangements of PCC?[/p][/quote]You are free to use my letter if it gets something done.[/p][/quote]Thank you. As the Council is unable or unwilling to address the internal problems that are apparent to some of us, The Auditor seems to be the only external body that can influence matters and that Welsh Ministers will take notice of. Indeview J Hudson
  • Score: 7

10:27pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Tttoommy says...

Incompetence is one thing, Greed is another thing but God forgive you for closing your eyes to a paedophilia and forcing the whistle blower out - how can those involved sleep at night or look at themselves in the mirror
Incompetence is one thing, Greed is another thing but God forgive you for closing your eyes to a paedophilia and forcing the whistle blower out - how can those involved sleep at night or look at themselves in the mirror Tttoommy
  • Score: 7

9:19am Sun 3 Aug 14

Electra1 says...

Welshman23 wrote:
http://www.paulmille

rpembrokeshire.com/p

ayitback/
Gave a look on this website and look at the caption of BPJ. Brilliant
I have sent the link to a few of my friends it is fantastic.
[quote][p][bold]Welshman23[/bold] wrote: http://www.paulmille rpembrokeshire.com/p ayitback/ Gave a look on this website and look at the caption of BPJ. Brilliant[/p][/quote]I have sent the link to a few of my friends it is fantastic. Electra1
  • Score: 4

10:24pm Sun 3 Aug 14

Welshman23 says...

http://pembrokeshire
herald.com/7610/coun
cil-group-tip-balanc
e-power/
New political group being discussed see Pembrokeshire Herald.
http://pembrokeshire herald.com/7610/coun cil-group-tip-balanc e-power/ New political group being discussed see Pembrokeshire Herald. Welshman23
  • Score: 0

8:48am Mon 4 Aug 14

Tttoommy says...

Is the infamous 2nd person the retired HR Director with a "scottish" name ?

Might I suggest that IF he retired on a final salary pension he will be benefiting from this until he pops his clogs?
Is the infamous 2nd person the retired HR Director with a "scottish" name ? Might I suggest that IF he retired on a final salary pension he will be benefiting from this until he pops his clogs? Tttoommy
  • Score: -2

4:06pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Sue T/K says...

Welshman23 - I was actually sacked. I have been advised that there may now well be a case for wrongful dismissal despite being out of time. I just need an employment solicitor who will work 'no win no fee'! If anyone out there feels like taking up the cause please feel more than free to contact me on fnstrad@yahoo.co.uk (wish I had the same access Mr Parry-Jones has to barristers!). Thanks for the support.

Tttoommy - thanks for your comment.

On 1 August, I sent the my open letter above to all councillors. I will feed back with any interesting responses (or lack thereof). I'll also let you know if Cllr Adams is forthcoming with an apology for misleading council over my correspondence with the CEO in 2005 - I'm not holding my breath.

Thanks
Sue
Welshman23 - I was actually sacked. I have been advised that there may now well be a case for wrongful dismissal despite being out of time. I just need an employment solicitor who will work 'no win no fee'! If anyone out there feels like taking up the cause please feel more than free to contact me on fnstrad@yahoo.co.uk (wish I had the same access Mr Parry-Jones has to barristers!). Thanks for the support. Tttoommy - thanks for your comment. On 1 August, I sent the my open letter above to all councillors. I will feed back with any interesting responses (or lack thereof). I'll also let you know if Cllr Adams is forthcoming with an apology for misleading council over my correspondence with the CEO in 2005 - I'm not holding my breath. Thanks Sue Sue T/K
  • Score: 5

6:53pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Welshman23 says...

Having received a response from the first minister last week, here is the response from Mr Crabb, you can draw your own conclusions.

Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding Pembrokeshire County Council.

It is vitally important that Pembrokeshire County Council operates with the confidence of the electorate in Pembrokeshire and strictly in accordance with the law. I am concerned that recent events at County Hall have damaged that confidence and I do hope that the situation improves. Of course as an MP I rightly do not have a direct influence at County Hall, but I do raise these concerns in meetings with senior officials at Pembrokeshire County Council.

In terms of accountability, the buck stops with the Independent-Controll
ed Cabinet and the individual councillors. As I keep saying at local elections, we need different County Councillors who will provide new leadership.

Once again, thank you for raising this issue with me.

Kind regards

Stephen
Having received a response from the first minister last week, here is the response from Mr Crabb, you can draw your own conclusions. Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding Pembrokeshire County Council. It is vitally important that Pembrokeshire County Council operates with the confidence of the electorate in Pembrokeshire and strictly in accordance with the law. I am concerned that recent events at County Hall have damaged that confidence and I do hope that the situation improves. Of course as an MP I rightly do not have a direct influence at County Hall, but I do raise these concerns in meetings with senior officials at Pembrokeshire County Council. In terms of accountability, the buck stops with the Independent-Controll ed Cabinet and the individual councillors. As I keep saying at local elections, we need different County Councillors who will provide new leadership. Once again, thank you for raising this issue with me. Kind regards Stephen Welshman23
  • Score: 0

7:13pm Mon 4 Aug 14

KeanJo says...

Mr Crabb appears to agree that the existing administration in Pembrokeshire leaves much to be desired but I find it very hard to understand his view that nothing can be done when there are precedents in Wales where the running of an Authority has been taken over by the Assembly. I would have thought a concerted effort by our MPs ,AMs, and MEPs would result in positive action.
Mr Crabb appears to agree that the existing administration in Pembrokeshire leaves much to be desired but I find it very hard to understand his view that nothing can be done when there are precedents in Wales where the running of an Authority has been taken over by the Assembly. I would have thought a concerted effort by our MPs ,AMs, and MEPs would result in positive action. KeanJo
  • Score: 3

9:48pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Welshman23 says...

Sue T/K wrote:
Welshman23 - I was actually sacked. I have been advised that there may now well be a case for wrongful dismissal despite being out of time. I just need an employment solicitor who will work 'no win no fee'! If anyone out there feels like taking up the cause please feel more than free to contact me on fnstrad@yahoo.co.uk (wish I had the same access Mr Parry-Jones has to barristers!). Thanks for the support.

Tttoommy - thanks for your comment.

On 1 August, I sent the my open letter above to all councillors. I will feed back with any interesting responses (or lack thereof). I'll also let you know if Cllr Adams is forthcoming with an apology for misleading council over my correspondence with the CEO in 2005 - I'm not holding my breath.

Thanks
Sue
Hi Sue
Very sorry that you were sacked for bringing this to the attention of the people in the Kremlin.
I hope someone out there could help Sue get justice, if anyone knows a solicitor that can take up here case then please help.
[quote][p][bold]Sue T/K[/bold] wrote: Welshman23 - I was actually sacked. I have been advised that there may now well be a case for wrongful dismissal despite being out of time. I just need an employment solicitor who will work 'no win no fee'! If anyone out there feels like taking up the cause please feel more than free to contact me on fnstrad@yahoo.co.uk (wish I had the same access Mr Parry-Jones has to barristers!). Thanks for the support. Tttoommy - thanks for your comment. On 1 August, I sent the my open letter above to all councillors. I will feed back with any interesting responses (or lack thereof). I'll also let you know if Cllr Adams is forthcoming with an apology for misleading council over my correspondence with the CEO in 2005 - I'm not holding my breath. Thanks Sue[/p][/quote]Hi Sue Very sorry that you were sacked for bringing this to the attention of the people in the Kremlin. I hope someone out there could help Sue get justice, if anyone knows a solicitor that can take up here case then please help. Welshman23
  • Score: 2

2:46am Tue 5 Aug 14

Flashbang says...

Contact Steven Crabb direct and tell him his mealy mouthed, fence sitting non committed response is not good enough. We want action against the corrupt, self serving regime running the county. Actions Steven, not words please.

0207 219 0907 House of Commons

01437 767555 Local office

http://www.stephencr
abb.com
Contact Steven Crabb direct and tell him his mealy mouthed, fence sitting non committed response is not good enough. We want action against the corrupt, self serving regime running the county. Actions Steven, not words please. 0207 219 0907 House of Commons 01437 767555 Local office http://www.stephencr abb.com Flashbang
  • Score: 1

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