Page last updated at 07:02 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Watchdog plea over council probe

Anglesey council office at Llangefni
The council has 'difficulties with working relationships' says audit office

The auditor general for Wales is inviting members of the public to comment on how Anglesey Council is run.

Jeremy Colman wants to know what people think as his department will inspect the council in April.

The council has been criticised by the Wales Audit Office (WAO) for the way some officers and councillors work together.

It is being forced by its monitoring officer to call a special meeting this Thursday to discuss the WAO report.

Mr Colman is interested to hear from people about matters such as how the council makes decisions, how it implements those decisions and how the complaints are dealt with.

Comments received will be used during the auditor general's inspection into corporate governance arrangements at the local authority.

Public view

"If I am to review the way Anglesey council is run, it is important that I ask people what they think," said Mr Colman.

"I am grateful to any member of the public who feels that they have information that would help me and I would encourage them to get in touch," he added.

Earlier this month, councillors were prevented from discussing the report from the Wales Audit Office.

In a stormy council meeting, monitoring officer Lynn Ball was prevented by the council chairman Aled Morris Jones from giving legal advice to councillors.

She accused him of "driving a coach and horse through the constitution" and threatened to use her legal powers to deal with the situation.

However, the independent chair said a procedural point prevented discussions on the findings of the report by the Wales Audit Office (WAO).


Opposition groups walked out of the meeting after a debate was rejected.

The chairman of the council's own audit committee, Cliff Everett made a formal complaint about the way the meeting was conducted, claiming he was effectively gagged.

The annual letter from the WAO had warned of "difficulties in working relationships between some executive members and some senior officers" which it felt was having a "a detrimental impact on the council and its ability to fulfil the general best value duty".

The report has led to a full inspection of the council management by the auditor general.

His findings are expected to be published in June.

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