Senedd Bites #77: Review of senior council officer conduct rules ordered

(Title Image: South Wales Argus)

Review of senior council officer conduct rules

The Welsh Government has announced its intention to review rules around the conduct of senior council officers, after the Chief Executive of Caerphilly Council, Anthony O’Sullivan, was finally dismissed after six years of “gardening leave”.

In 2012, Mr O’Sullivan and other senior officers were present during a meeting which resulted in them being awarded a large salary increase, which the Wales Audit Office deemed unlawful. A criminal investigation was dropped in 2015.

The review will be undertaken by Peter Oldham QC. See also, from the old Oggy Bloggy Ogwr – It’s trough at the top for little piggies

New service launched to understand Welsh places

The Institute of Welsh Affairs launched a collaborative project with WISERD and the Carnegie Trust to provide detailed information about more than 300 towns, villages and cities in Wales.

Understanding Welsh Places includes demographic and economic information and places Welsh towns, villages and cities into seven different categories ranging from independent (economically self-sustaining and not reliant on services in different areas) to dependent (reliant on services elsewhere).

Welsh Government launches business park vision for St Athan

Economy & Transport Minister, Ken Skates (Lab, Clwyd South), formally launched the Bro Tathan business park in the Vale of Glamorgan on October 2nd. The business park includes MOD St Athan and access to its runway.

The Minister said: “The area has a strong aerospace and defence heritage, along with access to the skills that businesses need to thrive. Bro Tathan has already proven its worth to a number of companies and I look forward to seeing it attract more in the future.”

Greens see Wales as “the last frontier”

The Green Party of EnglandandWales held their autumn conference in Newport, with Deputy Leader, Amelia Womack, saying Wales remained “the last frontier” for the party – which already has senior representation in the Scottish Parliament, UK Parliament and London Assembly.

In Wales, the party only has a single elected local authority councillor and has consistently failed to win seats in the Senedd.

Party priorities include a Green New Deal, addressing inequality and measures to tackle the climate emergency.

Cutting teaching assistants has had “heartbreaking impact”

A headteacher at a Cardiff primary school told BBC Wales that cutbacks to teaching assistances have had what’s described as a “heartbreaking impact” on pupils. Figures revealed a 7.5% decline in teaching support staff since 2014-15.

The loss of teaching assistance meant fewer opportunities for one-on-one support. The National Union of Headteachers Cymru said: “It is obvious that until we address this combination of factors, and return to a situation where taking a job in a school is an enjoyable, manageable and decently paid career choice, the young people of Wales will always be losing out on their right to a decent education.”