Council welcomes Audit Wales report on Silent Valley

BLAENAU Gwent Council has welcomed the publishing of an Audit Wales report which criticised the relationship it had with a waste services contractor.

Silent Valley Waste Services Limited (Silent Valley) is a company owned and controlled by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.

On Thursday, January 27, Audit Wales published a public interest report which concluded the council had failed to establish robust and effective arrangements in respect of its relationship with Silent Valley between 2003 and 2017.

A spokesman for Blaenau Gwent said:

“The council welcomes the detailed report by Audit Wales covering the governance and oversight arrangements in respect of Silent Valley Waste Services and we recognise the seriousness of its findings.

“The council has already taken steps to address the issues raised in the report and made improvements to strengthen governance early in 2018.

“This work has been acknowledged in the Audit Wales report.

“The auditor general’s report and recommendation will be considered at a special meeting of the Council on Monday, February 7.

In his report, Wales auditor-general Adrian Crompton said:

” I am satisfied that the council has recognised that the previous arrangements were unsatisfactory, have taken steps to address the deficiencies identified in this report.

“Nevertheless, I remain concerned that the issues identified in this report occurred over such a protracted period, involved several senior council officials, and continued without any apparent challenge until they were brought to the attention of the council by a whistle-blower. ”

Amongst the changes he approves of is having councillors rather than council officers as Silent Valley board members.

Elgan Hearn Local Democracy Reporter

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