Originally posted at insidecardiff.com
So, District Auditor Jane Jones’ full report on the shambolic actions of the previous administration in Cardiff County Council was finally released yesterday.
As expected, ex-Council leader Russell Goodway was condemned, as was Chief Executive, Byron Davies. Also, as expected, neither accept any blame whatsoever, and who would have expected them to? After all, this is the twosome that gave themselves a pay rises of 77% over three years. Surely we could not ever expect any honesty and integrity from them.
Neither will resign their current posts, Goodway as chief executive at the Cardiff Chamber of Commerce, Davies still chief executive of Cardiff Council.
So, with the publication of the report into the whole debacle which, inclusive of the costs that Mr Goodway and his leadership ran up contending the report in 2004, came to a figure of £4m, is, in Goodway’s own words, “closure of a very stressful period of my life”
Well, Mr Goodway, I’m glad that you think the matter is over.
If only we could solve all of our problems with a public enquiry which points out the faults, read it, throw it in the bin and carry on with our lives.
What consequences is Mr Goodway going to face, if any?
Surely recompense needs to be paid?
Over three years, Cardiff Councillors netted an extra £2.4m between them, and so far none of it has been repaid.
In fact, Councillors that have been asked about repayment have firmly refuted it.
Surely a person in a public position, receiving such enormous allowances, knowing that it has come from the public purse, must have questioned the legitimacy of said payments?
Is it naive to think that a person in such authority would realise that something was wrong and mention it at a council meeting, or dare I say even hand it back?
I propose this, Cardiff Councils plan to setup a “recovery committee” be continued, with the following action as first route against the offending councillors;
i) Work out a repayment plan through garnishing of future allowances and salary
ii) If the above cannot be agreed with the individual, attempt to explore other avenues or repayment
- If none of the above can be agreed, the councillor should be asked for their resignation
Call me unsympathetic, but Cardiff Councillors have been having an easy ride for too long.
In central government, if Tony Blair had covertly increased his pay by 44-74%, would he not be accused of extortion, leading to a damning scandal?
My personal appeal to Russell Goodway is this;
Do the dignified thing and withdraw from public life.
As the once “highest paid councillor in the UK”, I’m sure he has enough of a nest egg other financial interests to continue comfortably in a more menial job.
If you really have the city’s best interests at heart, let Cardiff recover from your period in office and rise above your mistakes. Do not drag the relatively good name that has been made of our city through the mud any longer.