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Caerphilly Council paid £7,000 for experts’ advice in pay row

Published in News at 12:00, Friday March 8th, 2013. Last updated at 13:14, Monday March 11th, 2013

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Labour-led Caerphilly County Borough Council paid independent global management experts £7,000 to review senior salaries – then ignored their advice, Plaid Cymru has claimed.

According to a Freedom of Information request, Caerphilly County Borough Council paid £7,000 to the Hay Group to review senior salaries and carry out subsequent work.

In a damning report published this week, the Wales Audit Office said the actions of the council in awarding senior pay officers huge rises was unlawful.

Auditor Anthony Barrett, in his report, said: “We would have expected there to have been explicit consideration, in the meeting, of each of the points raised by Hay in its report, which were pertinent to how the issue of chief officers’ pay be resolved.”

“I accept that the decision was ultimately taken by the members of the Committee. However, I am concerned as to the presence of the officers throughout the meeting, the lack of declarations of interest and the apparent failure to consider the options contained in the Hay report.”

Police have now launched an investigation in light of the auditor’s report.

Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group on Caerphilly council, said: “I find it staggering that the council should commission the Hay group and then apparently fail to consider the various options put forward by these management experts.

“The council and the chief officers need to explain why they did not consider each of the points raised by Hay. Perhaps it was because they were only interested in one outcome – a huge pay increase for senior officers.

“They have effectively wasted money at a time when finance in local authorities is tight.”

The council appointed the Hay Group in 2004 as its retained independent experts on senior pay.

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  • jerym

    As we have paid £7000 for the report is there any chance of us seeing the conclusions?