North West Wales

Gwynedd homes whistle-blower Richard Jones' job claim

A former housing association director claims he was sacked because he found a £800,000 deficit in Gwynedd council home transfer proposals.

Richard Jones was sacked a month after Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd took the housing stock over in April 2010.

He is claiming unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal.

The case in Abergele was also told on Tuesday the association's chief executive voiced concerns about his performance. The hearing continues.

Francon Williams, who was the former head of housing at the county council, said Mr Jones had been "firing from the hip".

Mr Jones, from Deganwy, began work as director of corporate service with the association in April 2009.

The shortfall was due to the authority's housing revenue account, covering maintenance, being left out of the transfer proposal on which tenants had been asked to vote, he said.

"Someone made a catastrophic mistake in 2008," he said.

The hearing was told that it was too much of a coincidence that his dismissal in May 2010 followed so soon after he had pointed out the error which, he claimed, should have been spotted earlier.

"The gap was there and the figures should have gone into the business plan and been validated," he said.

Mr Jones said it was a shock to be told at the end of a meeting, which he had not realised was a disciplinary hearing, that he had to leave his office immediately.

Questioned by Carlo Breen, for Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, he said he felt there were no other grounds for the dismissal.

"The simple reason is that I identified that gap," he said.

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