Plaid Cymru AM Lindsay Whittle has warned that more chief officers could quit Caerphilly County Borough Council in the wake of a pay row after it was announced the director of social services was leaving for a job with the Welsh Government.
Albert Heaney, Corporate Director Social Services, has been appointed as the Welsh Government’s new Director of Social Services, Children and Families. He was one of the 21 chief officers given a pay rise by a secret council committee.
Director-level salaries went up from a maximum of £100,000 a year to more than £119,000. The decision to push up salaries by up to 30% may now be reversed after the Labour group, which runs the council, apologised for the way the decision was made.
Mr Whittle, who is a former leader of the council and a current councillor, said: “I congratulate Mr Heaney on his new role. He may not be the last chief officer to bail out of the council with morale at rock bottom. A bad taste has been left in many people’s mouths by the Labour leadership’s ‘fat cat’ pay debacle and this will take a long while to dissipate.
“But I’ve also been made aware that there is an unhealthy atmosphere in the council offices which I don’t think is all down to the pay issue. I can’t put my finger on it but staff can contact me confidentially to tell me of their concerns.
“The way Labour is running the council is an absolute shambles – the residents know it, council workers know it and even Labour councillors know it. Many people who supported Labour at the last council election are already discovering and now regretting the consequences of their actions.”