The Welsh Government has said it will not intervene after a call was made for Caerphilly County Borough Council to be put into “special measures”, amid concerns about the way the authority is run.
Cllr Colin Mann, leader of the council’s Plaid Cymru group, wrote to local government minister Julie James AM in the summer, urging the Welsh Government to “restore public confidence” by taking control of the authority.
Public toilet closures and budget overspends regarding improvements to Pwllypant roundabout were also referenced in the letter.
But Ms James has said Welsh ministers may only intervene in the running of a council “as a last resort”.
“Local authorities are independent statutory bodies and, as such are responsible to their electorate and others for their actions or inactions,” Ms James said.
The Welsh Government nominated a Designated Independent Person to investigate the senior officer pay row, but it says it is for the council to resolve the situation.
A special council meeting will take place tomorrow evening (Thursday, October 3) to discuss the issue.
Cllr Barbara Jones, interim leader of the council, said the Welsh Government “has no reason to intervene” in the running of the authority.
“This is a well-run, financially stable local authority and I would suggest that the opposition party should focus its effort on working constructively to improve the lives of our residents and our communities rather than embarrassing themselves by trying to score cheap political points,” Cllr Jones said.
Cllr Jones also said the Auditor General for Wales has no concerns about the performance of the council that would warrant any intervention.
But Cllr Mann said he wants to see the Welsh Government take more action.
“I’m very disappointed because the minister is failing the people of Caerphilly county and saying ‘no matter how bad the situation is, I won’t do anything’”, he added.
A spokeswoman for the Welsh Government said “it is wrong to suggest we are taking no action.”
The spokeswoman said that after the senior leadership issues have been resolved at the council, the Welsh Government will undertake a review to consider “whether the law on internal disciplinary proceedings needs to be changed.”