FOLLOWING the agreement to pay off Bryn Parry-Jones with around £330,000, council leader Cllr Jamie Adams said it was done in the “best interest of the council”.

Cllr Adams, who voted in favour of the settlement, said that in his view the “speedy, decisive action” taken will allow the council to “move on with confidence” and concentrate on delivering services to the people of Pembrokeshire.

He said that reorganisation of senior management would result in savings that would cover the cost of the pay out and the money would not be taken from reserves.

“It’s a little thing called employment law; we are the employers in this situation and were advised of our duties under that obligation. Negotiations had been undertaken extensively, the original expectations had reduced quite considerably and the outcome of that negotiation was the figures that were put to council.

“It was reflective of the strength of the council’s position and clearly the council has a policy which reflects the sort of compensation levels that all staff are party to, the figure is calculated and it’s no different to all staff.

“This was a very difficult decision for members but there was some strong legal advice in terms of strength of the disciplinary process, it was felt that disciplinary case was not that robust in terms of potentially delivering a result reducing the cost to the authority.

"The engagement of a designated independent person could cost considerably more, even double, and the most likely outcome would have provided for the same settlement in six to 18 months.

“Certain members of the council wanted the situation to run and run for their own personal political agendas.

"I considered them gambling with public money.”

Cllr Adams was asked if he understood the anger felt by many members of the public.

He said: “I have had a number of conversations with people who have started to understand the decision and are now understanding of that reasoning.

"I point to the strength of the legal advice, which was clear and unequivocal in terms of likely outcome of disciplinary process and the view that this council must move forward.

"There’s no question that this matter was becoming a distraction to providing services. An important decision had to be made.

“I understand and appreciate that the chief executive and role of chief executive in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire or where ever is a relatively high paid role no question about that, is a role of professional management, role that demands an approach, rationale and character that delivers in terms of ensuring a large organisation, with complicated requirements in terms of services demanded of it, functions.

"In terms of employment law you cannot simple remove people from any post without good reason and advice was very strong in this case that the council did not have good reason. So, we were charged with making this parting of company and that has been a difficult process asked to deliver that and we have delivered it.”