Pembrokeshire council chief to stand aside

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Media captionThere is still pressure for Mr Parry Jones to go permanently

The chief executive of Pembrokeshire council, Bryn Parry-Jones, is to stand aside with immediate effect.

The council announced that he was to take a "period of absence" on full pay.

Mr Parry-Jones is currently under investigation by police over cash payments he received in lieu of pension contributions.

There have been calls for his resignation and earlier in August some staff walked out in protest over the matter.

On Friday, council leader Jamie Adams announced that Mr Parry-Jones would take a period of absence.

"This decision has been taken in view of the continuing speculation surrounding the chief executive's position," he said.

"It has been reached by mutual agreement between Mr Parry-Jones and myself and I believe is in the best interests of the authority at the present time.

"There will be no further statements on this matter."

The matter revolves around an investigation by the Wales Audit Office.

It ruled Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire councils acted unlawfully by letting Mr Parry-Jones and Carmarthen chief executive Mark James opt out of a pension scheme to avoid tax payments.

An investigation by Gloucestershire Constabulary found no evidence to suggest any criminal offences, but a new police inquiry has since been launched following the discovery of new information.

In July, Pembrokeshire council said it would take no further action against Mr Parry-Jones and another unnamed senior officer involved to reclaim the money.

Mr Parry-Jones will be on full pay during his leave of absence, the council confirmed.

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