Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

One third less for new Chief

Published

on

Shambles over pay-off: Bryn-Parry Jones

Former Chief: Bryn’s rate of £195,000 a year has been cut for the new chief

A REPORT from the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) has recommended a massive cut in pay for any new Chief Executive at Pembrokeshire County Council.

 Former Chief Executive Bryn Parry Jones’ rate of £195,000 a year, plus extra for his duties as returning officer, will be replaced with a significantly lower but still eyewatering salary of £130K per year.

The council had argued that the replacement salary should be £145,000 a year. The board, whose recommendations must be taken into account by the local authority when setting the pay for a new Chief Executive, have said that Pembrokeshire’s size does not justify paying even the Council’s proposed salary, itself £50,000 lower than that paid to Bryn Parry-Jones.

In relation to Chief Executives, the Panel’s role is limited to taking a view and making a recommendation. Although the Local Authority/ Authorities concerned must have regard to this opinion, they are not obliged to follow it. It is true other legislation will require any such decision to be made through a vote of full council.

It is also the case the decision would be open to scrutiny, not only by the authorities’ internal scrutiny processes, but also by external regulators such as the Wales Audit Office. The authority would need to explain why they did not agree with the Panel’s recommendation, if it set a different salary than that suggested by the Remuneration Panel.

QUESTIONS RAISED ON PAY 

The setting of the Chief Executive’s salary at a level a third lower than Mr Parry-Jones’ raises a number of questions about the way in which his salary and the salary of senior officers has been set. IPPG Leader Jamie Adams, and others within the governing group, have repeatedly claimed that to get the best the authority needs to offer large and attractive wage packages to senior officers. In the past, the same councillors have used IRPW recommendations as a basis for arguing that high pay was justified.

It would be, however, a remarkable situation indeed if the Head of Paid Service had a smaller remuneration package than staff notionally junior to them in the Council hierarchy. From an examination of similar roles in other authorities, The Pembrokeshire Herald has discovered that the salary of those staff at director level – for example, the same as Pembrokeshire’s own Director of Development Dr Steven Jones – are paid between 75% and 80% of a Chief Executive’s salary.

If that was followed through to its logical conclusion, setting the salary of the Chief Executive at £130,000 would produce director level salaries in the region of (at most) £104,000 a year, a pay cut of around one fifth of those directors’ current salary level.

The Pembrokeshire Herald has looked at a number of authorities in England of comparable size to Pembrokeshire and has noticed that salaries for senior officers in Wales appear to be significantly higher than those of comparators across the border. One noticeable factor in the ratio of pay between the lowest paid full-time council employees in England is that Chief Officers’ pay is often pegged to the pay of the authorities’ lowest earners.

In the case of Hertfordshire, for example, this means that the median Chief Officers’ pay of £127,000 is between seven to eight times the pay of the lowest (non-school) members of council staff.

If Pembrokeshire County Council set its pay on such a basis, this would mean that the lowest paid full-time worker at the authority when Mr Parry-Jones was its Head of Paid Service would have been approximately £26,000. Almost 3,000 of Pembrokeshire’s County Council’s 6,129 workforce are paid less than the so-called ‘living wage’ of £7.65 per hour. An hourly rate of £7.65 per hour equates to an annual wage of around £15,000 pa.

if worked on a full-time basis. Paul Miller told us: “The pay of the former Chief Executive was allowed to reach a level completely out of kilter with the lives of the ordinary people Pembrokeshire Council is elected to serve. Future Chief Officer remuneration needs to be much lower and needs to be very clearly related to the pay of rest of staff body.

I’m pleased that the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales has sought to significantly reduce the salary offered to the next Chief Executive. I will, at next weeks meeting, be calling for a much more wide ranging review of senior officer pay in Pembrokeshire.”

TIME TO MOVE FORWARD’ 

Bob Kilmister agreed: “On the basis of the evidence I have seen so far, the recommendation from the Remuneration Panel for Wales is in my view is extremely sensible. The Pembrokeshire Alliance said at its launch, ‘We want to see an end to the excessive pay of senior staff.’ It is clear the Remuneration Panel for Wales agree with this conclusion. How successive ruling administrations have allowed such excessive pay over a such a long period of time remains a mystery to me and I am sure most of the residents of Pembrokeshire.”

The issue of the high salary paid to former Chief Executive Bryn Parry-Jones was highlighted by Cllr Jacob Williams: “It would appear from the Panel’s recommendation that Bryn Parry-Jones was overpaid for his role for nigh on twenty years. With several pay rises during that time, there was plenty of scope to bring it back to a reasonable figure but as your readers know, the ruling independent party are easy with other people’s money.

Always have been, always will be.” Cllr David Simpson told The Herald: “I think that the Council should listen to the advice given from the Independent Remuneration Panel. When I was a Cabinet Member, we were told time and again that the Welsh Assembly Government ‘had it in’ for Pembrokeshire because the Independents were the ruling group! Look where this Group mentality thinking has got us.

The attitude that the Independent Group is always right is the reason that Pembrokeshire County Council is the laughing stock of Wales. The arrogance of members of the Independent Group has prevailed for far too long, when Education was put into Special Measures help and assistance offered to us by the Ministerial Board was constantly fought against.

The Chairman of the Ministerial Board, who was himself a retired Judge, could not believe the resistance he met. He once stated to me that whenever he pointed out a problem with the system the Council would retaliated with thirty excuses! It took the Council 12 months to realize that the Board was right and we either worked with them or they would take over the authority. The Panel’s knowledge is far superior to that of lay members of the Council and it’s time for us to put excuses behind us. It is time to move forward.”

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

Permit applications open for Tenby pedestrianisation scheme

Published

on

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is now accepting applications for vehicle access during this year’s Pedestrianisation of Tenby.

The scheme, which is due to start on Monday, July 5 and conclude on Friday, September 10, will again see the walled town divided into three ‘zones’, each having varying degrees of vehicle access.

Whilst all necessary plans are being put in place for it to start and finish on the above dates, the scheme will remain under constant review in light of Government guidance relating to Covid-19, and the Council will provide any updates as necessary.

Possession of an ‘access permit’ does not provide any exemption from Government restrictions, and any regulations relating to travel and the occupation of holiday accommodation or second homes must be observed at all times.

Following the success of last year, the permit application process will continue online, with paper application forms and guidance notes no longer being delivered to residents and businesses.

The application form and guidance notes are available from pembrokeshire.gov.uk/tenby-pedestrianisation

Residents and business within Tenby are encouraged to complete the application process as soon as possible, to ensure that there is sufficient time for the application to be processed.

Permits will be issued approximately 7-10 days prior to the start of the scheme.

For enquiries, e-mail tenby.pedestrian@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Continue Reading

News

Join the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel as an independent member

Published

on

THE Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel is looking for two members to join them in their work to support and challenge the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Panel is made of up of members nominated by Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys county councils along with at least two independent members.

Opportunities have now arisen for two independent members to join the Panel and carry out key statutory roles that will support the Commissioner exercise his role effectively.

Members will be expected to attend and take part in regular meetings and take part in decision making, creating reports and making recommendations to the Commissioner.

They will review the Commissioner’s annual draft Police and Crime Plan and annual draft budget, review and scrutinise his decisions and actions, and if necessary review the proposed appointment or removal of the Chief Constable and other senior police force appointments.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they can take a balanced and objective approach in supporting the Panel and the Commissioner, make strategic and well-informed decisions, and interpret and question financial, statistical and performance related information.

They will also need to be able to act as a ‘critical friend’, challenging views or proposals for change constructively.

Applications close on May 31, and appointments to the Panel will be made until October 31, 2024. 

For further information, visit www.dppoliceandcrimepanel.wales

Continue Reading

News

Successful Fire Service and Health Board partnership to enhance COVID-19 vaccine roll out comes to end

Published

on

TUESDAY 11 May 2021 marked the end of a hugely successful partnership between Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Hywel Dda University Health Board, initiated to enhance the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine to the communities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Since February, Community Safety Staff from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have transported 125 passengers over 9450 miles to ensure they were able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.

Chris Davies, Chief Fire Officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Recognising the configuration of our Service, the areas we cover and indeed the people we employee, this seemed an ideal opportunity for us to widen our response to the pandemic and support our partners in safeguarding our communities.

“Whilst we already collaborate with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, this opportunity enabled us to expand our assistance further within the health arena. This partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board was the first of its kind for Fire and Rescue Services in Wales and paved the way for a number of similar partnerships for us and the other Fire and Rescue Services in Wales.

“I am extremely proud of our staff who have participated in this collaboration and have made a huge difference to the lives of so many people. Their contribution has without doubt had a positive impact on our response to this global pandemic”.

Mydrian Harries, Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, coordinated the Service’s response to this call for assistance.

“Our communities are at the heart of our core business. Knowing we were in a position to make an impact, we put in place a robust solution in record time, to not only ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, but to also safeguard those who were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, but may have had barriers preventing them from attending their appointments.

“Using this partnership as template within which we could expand, we have since been able to offer our assistance to other Health Boards across the Service area. Indeed, a group of 10 vaccine heroes from our Service have joined Powys Teaching Health Board’s vaccination team, playing their part in distributing vaccines at mass vaccination sites in Newtown and Builth Wells. This is another fantastic example of how working together has been vital in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Continue Reading
News13 hours ago

Permit applications open for Tenby pedestrianisation scheme

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is now accepting applications for vehicle access during this year’s Pedestrianisation of Tenby. The scheme, which is...

News2 days ago

Public engagement exercise over new hospital between St Clears and Narberth

HYWEL DDA is asking the people of Pembrokeshire to help it further shape and deliver future services by taking part...

News3 days ago

Police looking for a couple with a dog after teenage girl bitten in Haverfordwest

POLICE hunting for the owners of a ‘pitbull’ type dog which bit a teenage girl in Haverfordwest last month. Dyfed-Powys...

Business3 days ago

An experimental nuclear fusion reactor could be built in Pembrokeshire

PEMBROKESHIRE could be the location of an experimental nuclear fusion reactor, which could produce abundent clean energy, if the council...

News4 days ago

Graffiti damages area of scientific and historical interest in Pembrokeshire

GRAFFITI painted on stones of historical and environmental importance at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has caused environmental damage that could...

News5 days ago

Plaid’s Dafydd Llywelyn re-elected as Police and Crime Commissioner

THE NEW Police and Crime Commissioner for the Dyfed Powys Area has been announced. Incumbent, Dafydd Llywelyn, of Plaid Cymru...

News6 days ago

Mark Drakeford says: ‘Thank you Wales for going red’

LABOUR is staying in power in Wales after matching its best-ever Senedd election result. It won exactly half of the...

News7 days ago

Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat

THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap. Sam Kurtz...

News7 days ago

Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency. He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895...

News7 days ago

Dyfed-Powys Police criticised for failing to record thousands of crimes

A SHOCKING new report says that Dyfed-Powys Police failed to record thousands of crimes, despite being told to improve two-and-a-half...

Popular This Week