William Eichler 04 October 2019

Caerphilly chief executive fired for ‘unlawful’ pay rises

Caerphilly chief executive fired for ‘unlawful’ pay rises image

The chief executive of Caerphilly County Borough Council has been sacked after a six year suspension over ‘unlawful’ pay rises.

Anthony O'Sullivan was suspended in March 2013 after a report by the Wales Audit Office concluded that 20% pay rises given to senior officers at the council in 2012 were ‘unlawful on a number of grounds’.

Assistant auditor general Anthony Barrett found that the Senior Remuneration Committee was not properly advertised in accordance with the Local Government Act. The agendas for the meeting were also not made available for public inspection.

He also found that Mr O’Sullivan, his deputy Nigel Barnett and head of legal services Daniel Perkins participated in the committee’s decision making process when they had a disqualifying financial interest.

‘Certain officers, including the chief executive, who would have been (and indeed were) beneficiaries of the decision were present at the meeting to approve the salary increases,’ he said.

‘No declarations of interest were made and these officers did not leave the room while the decision was made.’

All three were subsequently arrested on suspicion of fraud and misconduct in public office and suspended from the council on full pay. The charges were dropped in 2015.

Mr Barnett and Mr Perkins agreed payouts worth £300,000 between them, while Mr O’Sullivan remained on special leave until last night when a Special Meeting of council decided to dismiss him ‘with immediate effect’.

It is estimated that the row has cost the local authority £4m.

‘We regret the amount of time and money that has been spent on this matter, but we had no choice other than to follow the agreed statutory process,’ said interim council leader Barbara Jones.

‘It should also be noted that during this time we had to allow criminal investigations to proceed, which added almost two and a half years to the overall timeframe.

‘This decision concludes a very difficult chapter for the council and we must now move forward.’

Mr O'Sullivan told The BBC he would appeal the decision, and said there had been a 'vicious media campaign' against him. 

Photo: ©Robin Drayton

Meeting new planning requirements for trees image

Meeting new planning requirements for trees

Concrete block permeable paving offers an important opportunity to help satisfy the requirement for extensive tree planting and retention of existing trees in developments. Chris Hodson reports.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Children's Safeguarding and Care 

Gloucestershire County Council
Up to £116,391, plus relocation support
We are looking to fill this vital role at a very important time for us.  Our children’s services team is on an important journey of... Gloucestershire
Recuriter: Gloucestershire County Council

Student Gardener

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 2 - £17,715 per annum
We are looking for candidates with a desire to improve their skill and knowledge within the horticultural industry the use of a variety of horticul... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Casual Assistant Coach

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 3 - £9.48 per hour
An exciting opportunity has arisen to support the Community Sport & Wellbeing Team at Chelmsford City Council with a Physical Activity project for ... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Developer Level 2

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 9 - Starting at £38,517 per annum, rising to £42,441
Would you like to work for an Investors in People award winning organisation that offers flexible working arrangements, excellent pension and have ... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Casual Assistant Swimming Instructor

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 4 - £10.79 per hour
Riverside Leisure Centre is Chelmsford City Council’s flagship leisure facility, offering a variety of sporting activities where there is something... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue