A Labour councillor has been reported to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales after allegedly not declaring an interest during a vote to award council bosses huge pay rises.
Pay rises running into tens of thousands of pounds were awarded to 21 senior managers at Caerphilly County Borough Council by a committee in September.
One of the managers to receive a pay rise was Gareth Hardacre, the council’s head of human resources and organisational development. He was present at the meeting of the Senior Remuneration Committee on September 5 when rises for top managers, including himself, were approved.
Mr Hardacre’s father, Labour councillor David Hardacre, the cabinet member for performance and asset management, was present when the minutes of the committee meeting were received and noted at a full council meeting on October 9, but did not declare an interest.
Councillor Colin Mann said: “It comes as a great surprise that there was no declaration in full council. Where they may have an interest all councillors are expected to declare an interest. I don’t think it matters one jot that there was no discussion at the full council – it’s really a case of adopting a safety first attitude and declaring whenever there is any possibility of a conflict of interest.
“Councillor Hardacre’s son was a beneficiary of the decision made by the Senior Remuneration Committee and the Plaid group believes Councillor Hardacre has a case to answer and it is a matter which should be considered by the Public Services Ombudsman.
“We want these rises rescinded and we will be making sure that there is no rowing back from this pledge by the ruling Labour group. People are still amazed how out of touch the Labour leadership has been on this issue with their two deputy leaders Gerald Jones and Keith Reynolds among those who approved these vast increases. What were they thinking?”
Last month Cllr Hardacre explained to WalesOnline that he would seek guidance from the council’s monitoring officer.
He said: “There was no debate – the item was approved without discussion. If there had been any debate, I would immediately have declared an interest. But I don’t believe I needed to because there was no debate.”