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Councillor cleared by ombudsman.

A COUNCILLOR who did not declare an interest during a meeting which approved huge pay rises for Caerphilly council officers has been cleared by the ombudsman of breaching a code of conduct.

Labour councillor David Hardacre, the cabinet member for performance and asset management, was reported to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales by Plaid Cymru's group leader Colin Mann.

He was present at a meeting in which pay increases running into tens of thousands of pounds were approved by a committee in September. One of the managers was his son, Gareth Hardacre, who is head of human resources and organisational development.

Coun Hardacre was present when the minutes of the committee meeting were received and noted at a full council meeting on October 9, but did not declare an interest.

But ombudsman Peter Tyndall ruled he had "no case to answer" after he was referred by Coun Mann. A spokeswoman for Mr Tyndall said he had assessed whether there had been a breach of the code of conduct, but had concluded there was "no prima facie evidence of a breach in the code of conduct, and the case was now closed".

Caerphilly council leader, Coun Harry Andrews, said: "We welcome official confirmation that Coun David Hardacre has acted properly throughout in this issue."
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 16, 2013
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