Michelle Morris is the new public services ombudsman for Wales

BLAENAU Gwent County Borough Council chief executive Michelle Morris will become Wales’ new public services ombudsman.

Ms Morris was appointed to the post in January and is expected to become the ombudsman from Friday 1 April.

She is the first woman to hold this position since the office was established in 2005.

Originally from Pembrokeshire, Ms Morris held senior council positions in Wales before moving to Scotland to work.

There she was deputy chief executive and overseer of Highland Council, before returning to Wales to take charge of Blaenau Gwent in 2017.

Ms Morris said: “I am delighted to take on this unique and important position.

“I look forward to continuing the good work of the office and ensuring that our services are accessible to those who have complaints, that we work with public authorities in Wales to ensure that public service standards continue to improve. improve and that the conduct of elected officials, who represent us all, is supported at the highest level.

At a Blaenau Gwent council meeting earlier this month, in a confidential session, councilors discussed appointing a successor to Ms Morris.

A Blaenau Gwent council spokesperson said: ‘Damien McCann has recently been appointed as interim chief executive to replace Michelle Morris.’

Mr McCann was the authority’s chief social services officer.

Ms Morris succeeds former ombudsman Nick Bennett, who held the post between August 2014 and March this year.

A native of Ynys Môn, Mr Bennett was the island’s Liberal Democrat candidate in the 2001 general election and the 2003 Welsh Assembly, and finished fourth both times.

He is also a former Managing Director of Community Housing Cymru.

The Ombudsman has the statutory power to investigate complaints about public services and independent care providers in Wales.

Ms Morris’ office will also investigate complaints that local government councilors have breached their authority’s code of conduct.

The Ombudsman is independent of all government bodies and the service is impartial.