WHY a payment was made to the outgoing chief executive is not to be discussed publicly the council’s leader says.

At full council some members of Pembrokeshire County Council asked questions about the departure of chief executive Ian Westley, due to leave the authority at the end of next month, and the £95,000 pay out he has been awarded.

 

Cllr Jamie Adams asked on October 8 for more information on why the pay out was made and how it was calculated.

 

Cllr Stephen Joseph also wanted greater clarity about the situation, referring to cabinet member for economy, tourism, leisure and culture Paul Miller’s statement at a previous meeting that a corporate restructure called for when Mr Westley took over had not happened and that “continued to be a matter of disappointment for him.”

 

Cllr Miller also highlighted a “pernicious lack of performance management framework” and its impact in all areas of the council adding it “goes to the heart of the issues that I see as barriers to delivery.”

 

This, along with a framework of assessing delivery, should be included in the new appointment’s focus from the start, said Cllr Miller.

 

Cllr Joseph said he had heard “lots of Chinese whispers” about why Mr Westley was leaving and what Cllr Miller said when against the private, legal settlement agreement made.

 

Council leader Cllr David Simpson said he did not deal in gossip and Chinese whispers and although all organisations had “frictions” these are dealt with.

 

In response to Cllr Adams’ questions he reiterated the private and legally binding nature of the settlement agreement and refused to be drawn further on any details.

 

He said that negotiations had been ongoing under executive powers and members of the cabinet had been kept informed, with HR and legal advice sought before the settlement was agreed.

 

Cllr Adams paid tribute to Mr Westley and praised his hard work for the authority as well as his “integrity, professionalism and commitment.”

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