CONCERNS have been raised over Sully and Lavernock Community Council’s handling of a long-running investigation into allegations surrounding the conduct of the council clerk, who has been suspended on full pay since last September.

Councillors voted to suspend clerk David Roberts at a council meeting held on September 27, after concerns were raised over his performance.

Penarth Times understands however that an audit carried out by the Bridgend and Vale Partnership – a joint venture between Bridgend Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council – shortly after Mr Roberts’ suspension, claims to have found evidence on a PC and memory stick of inappropriate activities being carried out by the clerk.

Among the allegations, Mr Roberts is accused of having used a council owned printer to print nearly £60 worth of flyers for a boxing event, as well as undertaking work for other organisations and clubs during work hours.

The investigation is also said to have uncovered documentation suggesting that Mr Roberts had been dismissed from a previous role – something the council was unaware of – along with a number of inappropriate ‘adult’ images from his work computer.

Investigators further highlighted two draft invoices to Sully and Lavernock Community Council, apparently created on the clerk’s council computer, though without VAT numbers, contact information or bank details.

It is unknown if either of the invoices were paid.

Much of the evidence is understood to have been found in the memory stick’s ‘recycle bin’.

Penarth Times sought to contact Mr Roberts with full details of the allegations made against him, but he had not responded by the time of going to press.

In a vote held by Sully and Lavernock Community Council last month, councillors narrowly voted not to notify the police of the investigation’s findings.

Councillors Phil Baguley, Ian Barlow and David Sylvester are understood to have backed informing the police, while councillors Michael Garland, Ken Jones and Chris Tatt voted against, with Cllr Tatt having the casting vote.

During the meeting, Cllr Lino Scaglioni said “clowns” running the council were responsible for the delay in reaching any conclusion about Mr Roberts, who has been left in limbo while the investigation continues.

Cllr Scaglioni subsequently left the meeting and was not involved in the vote.

Members of the public have become increasingly concerned at the delay, and a secondary independent investigation is now understood to have been commissioned.

As well as the costs accumulated through continuing to pay Mr Roberts’ wages during the past five and a half months, the cost of the investigation and hiring a replacement clerk in the interim period has cost the council thousands of pounds.

Mr Roberts submitted grievances against a number of community councillors following his suspension, however these investigations are understood to have been concluded with no action taken.

A spokesman for the Community Council said: “Any matters relating to members of staff are confidential so it would be inappropriate for the council to comment.”