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Former councillors are pleased with Ombudsman's decision

By Elgan Hearn | Mid Wales | Politics | Published:

Former politicians blamed for problems that may have originated in the past, should be given the right to respond to criticisms, two ex-councillors have said.

Former Powys County Council leader, Barry Thomas and deputy leader, Graham Brown, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that they still would like the apology acknowledged in public

Mr Thomas, from Llangyniew, said: “We’re pleased that we have had the apology and our names are cleared, it is some comfort.

“We have acknowledged the payment, even awarding us £1 would have shown that we were in the right.

“We were criticised and should have been allowed a right to reply.”

He said that PCC would also need to pay £250 to both following the first complaint into the issue which was upheld in by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales in December 2018.

Mr Thomas now believes that the report should be looked at by either the Standards, Democratic or Audit committee.

This so that councillors can digest the contents of the report and learn lessons, so it doesn’t happen again.

Mr Brown from Llandrinio, said: “We’re disappointed with the way this was handled.

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“They have apologised privately but stayed silent on a public apology.”

“Things need to change so that others former councillors are not being unfairly used as scapegoats without a right of reply

“This could have been sorted out very quickly, there could have been an apology and a retraction at the next full council meeting in January 2018.

“Everyone would have saved a lot of time, energy and money.”

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The complaints were made following comments made by former PCC chief executive Jeremy Patterson at a full council meeting on October 18, 2017

A hugely critical report from the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) had just been published and was the focus of the meeting.

At the meeting, Mr Patterson said that to deal with the issues in Children’s Services he needed “support” and “clarity” from the leader and cabinet of the previous administration.

Mr Patterson claimed this was not forthcoming.

A few days later, Mr Patterson went off sick and left PCC in September 2018.

Elgan Hearn

By Elgan Hearn
@ElganPowysLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Powys.

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