Row over Conwy Council education chief's £40,000 'redundancy' payout

Reporter:

Mike Williams

CONWY Council paid a £40,000 "redundancy" package to one of its senior officers, who had already said he would retire - an MP has claimed.

Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb has criticised the authority for the “morally wrong” decision to pay out the cash to head of education services Geraint James.

Mr James, who will leave his job later this year, triggered a review into the structure of the council’s education department after he “indicated widely” his wish to retire in 2013.

Mr Bebb said: “I have a huge concern about this ‘redundancy’ payment of some £40,000, particularly at a time when council tax has been rising at 5 per cent per annum and lollipop ladies are being removed from rural villages.

“I do not share the Chief Executive’s certainty that this is a redundancy situation and certainly from a moral point of view I believe it is wrong.

“I believe that the decision is flawed and that our councillors have been insufficiently robust in questioning why a decision of a senior post holder to retire has now resulted in a £40,000 redundancy package.”

Mr Bebb added that he felt Mr James has been a “faithful servant” of the people of Conwy.

The issue was discussed during a council meeting earlier in the month.

A Conwy Council spokesperson said: “We cannot comment on an individual employee’s case particularly, as in this case, where the officer is still in the Council’s employment.”

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