Fifth suspension in Swansea University inquiry

By Brian Meechan
BBC Wales business correspondent

Image source, leighcol/Getty Images

A fifth member of staff has been suspended by Swansea University as part of an inquiry.

BBC Wales has seen documents which indicate Paul Roberts has raised a grievance with the university.

Vice-chancellor Prof Richard B Davies, Prof Marc Clement, and two others were suspended in November.

"We can confirm that another member of staff has been suspended as part of our ongoing internal investigation," said a spokeswoman.

It has been linked to plans for a £200m wellness village at Llanelli.

Mr Roberts is the lead for regional development health and wellbeing at Swansea University's medical school.

In the email to the university where he raised his grievance, Mr Roberts said he was misled over the reasons for the meeting where he was told of his suspension, which he believed was about voluntary early retirement or redeployment to another role.

Mr Roberts also said he had "been working under a climate of fear since the suspension of fellow colleagues in November last year".

The university said it could "make no further comment at this stage."

Staff have previously been told that the matters being looked into did not concern "the academic performance of the university or its financial wellbeing".

In a letter of grievance, seen by BBC Wales, Prof Davies said he "profoundly" denied the allegations against him and would "fight to clear my name".

A formal grievance has also been raised by Prof Clement, head of the school of management, whose lawyers said in an email he was "astounded" at being suspended.

Image source, Carmarthenshire council
Image caption,
The inquiry is linked to plans for a wellness and science village

Swansea Council's leader has previously said he was told the probe related to plans for the wellness village - including life sciences business centre and community health hub - which is a flagship project as part of the Swansea Bay city deal.

Peter Black, a Swansea Liberal Democrat councillor said it was "very disturbing to be honest that these things are ongoing".

He said instead of being resolved it would seem the investigation was widening.

"My concern as a member of Swansea council is that Swansea University is involved in a number of deals with Swansea council and the city deal," he said.

"We need to start asking questions if Swansea University is a viable partner in the city deal project and what is the impact on city deal."

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