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Controversial council boss could receive a £320,000 pay-off

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Back to work: Bryn Parry Jones

Back to work: Bryn Parry Jones

ON THURSDAY afternoon (Oct 16), Pembrokeshire’s County Councillors will meet in what is likely to be a private session to discuss the terms of a settlement between the Council and its most senior employee, Chief Executive Bryn Parry-Jones.

The Pembrokeshire Herald understands that the sum likely to be on the table is in excess of £320,000.

While all councillors spoken to by this newspaper are staying tight-lipped about the potential terms of any settlement, a County Hall insider has told us the key components of any settlement.

After speaking with a public sector employment specialist, The Herald has established that in most Welsh local government contracts for senior staff, guidance  for calculating settlements indicates a gross payment of between three months’ to two years’ salary, based on seniority and overall length of service.

Bryn Parry-Jones would be at the upper end of the settlement framework.

Starting from that point (and stripping away other payments) Bryn Parry-Jones’ base salary is around £173,000.

In a settlement agreement it would also be usual to incorporate a provision for payment in lieu of notice. While this might vary depending on circumstances, the amount in lieu of notice would usually be around three months’ pay.

In local government contracts there is a provision for a payment in respect of other guaranteed payments additional to the base salary and these are often incorporated into the settlement agreement sum.

The Council would be obliged to deduct tax from the any part of the payment exceeding £30,000.

One potential sticking point is how the Council deals with Mr Parry-Jones’ pension. As things stand he would need the Council’s permission to draw any benefit from the scheme, as he opted out of it two years’ ago when the Council approved the unlawful payments scheme which has ultimately led to the current fracture between the parties. Mr Parry-Jones has previously told Councillors that he regards that issue to be far from closed. The Council ceased paying Mr Parry-Jones’ pension contributions (the unlawful pay supplement) around the time of the Extraordinary Meeting which discussed it on February 14, this year.

The overall position turns on how both sides view their risk exposure. An employer, particularly a County Council, will always need to bear in mind political as well as litigation pressure.

The prospect of a significant monetary settlement will weigh heavily upon councillors, who will bear in mind the likely outraged reaction of their constituents if Mr Parry-Jones walks away with what potentially equates to a 1% increase in Council Tax for every household in Pembrokeshire.

The prospect of further protests tomorrow about the settlement, as the Council tries to push through £50m in cuts, cannot be discounted.

The pay-off is due to be debated after 2pm.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Flashbang

    October 15, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    The damage that BPJ has done to the county over the years far outweighs any payment he gets. Let’s not forget his mismanagement of pretty much everything he’s had a hand in, his abuse of position and the personal slander on Councillor Mike Stoddart. He should have been sacked long ago were it not for the cosy arrangement he has with Jamie Adams which should be put under the microscope. The whole thing stinks to high heaven and beyond.

  2. Bob

    October 15, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Someone please tell me this is a joke? I pray that councillors will see sense and NOT agree to any pay off, let the investigation take its’ course and then dismiss BJP for misconduct without compensation.

  3. Tomos

    October 15, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Were all those “leaks” about 1.8 mill or 2 million even just spin to soften the blow so we think £300k is cheap?

    If I’d known it was this cheap I’d have sacked the ****** years ago

    PS Why pay him off honestly? Anyone who had done ONE of the many actions/decisions he’s made over the years would have resulted in any other employee of the council being sacked – not him, WHY?

  4. Andrew Lye

    October 15, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I understand why the photo always used shows him grinning.He will be the only person smiling in the County, having won the Pembrokeshire Lottery whatever agreement is reached.

  5. mark woodward

    October 16, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Since he has bought the council into disrepute, he should be sacked. No pay off, let him fight for it. End off matter. Thats how any other employee would be treated. Additionally his little buddy Jamie Adams needs to be suspended and fully investigated for his part in all of these shananigans.

  6. Paul Rutherford

    October 16, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I agree with Tomos, why should he get a payoff at all? Does he have some sort of ‘anti-sacking’ clause in his contract?

    The same sort of thing is happening at other councils, where it seems CE’s manage to get themselves fired with huge payoffs and then just move on to a recently vacated post.

    I believe this is happening at Wirral council, where their CE is going in a month or so. He’d better not come down here.

    Like most I know, I’m furious.

  7. Paul Cardin

    October 16, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Presumably, he won’t just be paid off; he’ll be gagged and given a clean bill of health to take with him – inside a compromise / settlement agreement.

    Here’s a survey of 345 English councils (which includes a link to £32 million worth of pay offs in Wales).

    Within, there’s approx. £226 million worth of compromise agreements with gagging clauses, over a six year period. It makes up one helluva big lump under the grubby “public sector carpet:

    http://wirralinittogether.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/2519/

  8. CJ

    October 19, 2014 at 9:12 am

    One word to describe this “disgraceful”.

  9. Ieuan Williams

    October 19, 2014 at 11:45 am

    All who voted for this pay off should consider themselves traitors to the People of Pembrokeshire.
    Bryn is laughing all the way to the bank! an dour services must suffer for his pay off.
    Jamie and co hang your heads in shame!

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Death on Freemens Way

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A 56-YEAR-OLD man has died following an incident on Freemens Way, Haverfordwest, on Wednesday night (Jul 15).

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “A 56-year-old man has died following an incident at Freemens Way, Haverfordwest, last night.

“He was taken to hospital with severe injuries, but sadly passed away.

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TWO teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of shouting racist comments at Black Lives Matter protestors, at the latest event in Haverfordwest on Wednesday night (Jul 15).
Commenting on the incident, Superintendent of Pembrokeshire division, Ross Evans said: “On Wednesday evening (July 15) a peaceful protest took place on Picton Fields, Haverfordwest, as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Local bus firms in protest drive over uncertainty

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They took to the roads around Haverfordwest, Carmarthen, and Cardigan in peaceful protest to support the call for help by coach operators during the corona virus pandemic.

Honk for hope is a national campaign to draw the public’s attention to the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the industry. It seeks to draw Governments attention to the dangerous position the coach and travel industry has fallen under, asking for them to take action.

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The coaches and supporters met at the Carmarthen Park and Ride on July 14 at 11am to begin the drive. On the trip they visited Carmarthen at around 11.15am then headed to Haverfordwest for noon, finally reaching cardigan at 1.30pm.

Midway Motors spoke on their social media page: ‘Amazing to see so many local companies turning up to travel around Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. Nice to see so many people along the roadsides as well. Let’s hope for some good news from the Government in Westminster tomorrow.”

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