2:01pm Sunday 29th September 2013
A FORMER senior officer at Monmouthshire council was offered a new job at the authority after his post was made redundant but still collected a five-figure redundancy pay-off two years later, documents revealed.
Andrew Keep, the former corporate director of lifelong learning and education’s post was made redundant in July 2010, along with two other existing corporate directors, as part of a restructure to save a total of £900,000.
He was offered a new position of chief officer for children and young people for a two-year period, and when this came to an end in 2012, he collected a £75,000 pay-off for his original role.
Cllr Graham Down criticised the decision, calling it a ‘done deal’ after spotting the compensation figure in the council’s latest annual audit accounts last week.
He said: “It appears this was a done deal. Fundamentally the two jobs are the same so while the post may technically have been made redundant it wasn’t a redundancy. I don’t understand how a pay-off was necessary.”
Paul Matthews, the council’s chief executive, recommended, in his report on the restructure in 2010, offering the officer a new role in order for the council to position itself for a fundamental reconfiguration of the service. It recommended a deferral of the payment for two years and in return the council would retain the services of a ‘respected and highly regarded educational leader’ which the chief executive judged to be in the best interests of the council. The report was put before the council and a final decision made in July 2010 by Cllr Peter Fox as a cabinet member decision.
A Monmouthshire council spokesman said: “We were keen to see continuity in our education provision, particularly as the then post holder was leading on the creation of the Gwent-wide Education Attainment Service, which was recently held up by the Welsh Government as the model for the implementation of such services around Wales.
“The post holder therefore agreed not to leave immediately, but to defer his redundancy for two years and take on the newly-created role, which had the education responsibilities that the corporate director post had, but a smaller salary. This was confirmed in an individual member decision in July, 2010. The post holder left the authority in July, 2012, and received the redundancy payment deferred from 2010.”
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