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Plaid’s disingenuous posturing over Council pay offs.

October 30, 2013 1:30 PM

The press have this week picked up on the fact that senior officers have been leaving RCT Council with substantial redundancy payouts, over and above their entitlement. Against the backdrop of substantial cuts being proposed by the Council this has sparked anger amongst many.

Yet this is not the first time this has been brought to the attention of the public. Way back in November 2012 the BBC reported on figure we provided to them that the Council were splashing out enormous amounts on 'golden goodbyes.' At that point £9m on voluntary redundancy packages for 274 people.

The payments carried on, and in March this year we again highlighted the on-going waste of money. Cllr Mike Powell was quoted at the time as saying

"In the 18 months up to January of this year figures show that the Council spent well over £3 million on voluntary redundancy payments for 56 employees.

"Of this almost half was in the form of compensatory payments which the Council are under no obligation to pay.

"Now whilst we would not want to see anyone leave without their due recompense it is ludicrous that at a time when everyone is having to tighten their belts the Labour controlled Council in RCT are handing over such huge bonus payments to public sector employees. Of course, as always, it is those at the top of the tree who were earning the most and have a substantial pension to look forward to who are benefiting the most.

"As we said previously there are questions to be asked such as when and how did these posts become redundant and if a post is redundant then why are we paying a compensatory payment on top of the early access to pension and statutory redundancy payments?"

This week it was Plaid Cymru who took the story to the press with the story that RCT Council gave five senior officers redundancy packages averaging £126,200 each during the last financial year.

Pauline Jarman, leader of the Plaid group on RCT council, claimed to have 'uncovered the pay-outs in the authority's annual statement of accounts.'

Yet as the Council's Deputy leader points out, there is a member of Plaid on the VER panel which rubber stamps these decisions, so they were aware of exactly what was going on and have been for some considerable time.

Why then haven't Plaid said anything about this before? Or did the political opportunity to jump on this particular bandwagon not present itself?

The Labour administration now say they will be reviewing their procedures in light of the need to make savings. It is a pity they didn't consider it necessary in previous years to stop such a disgraceful waste of public money that should have been invested in front line services.