Chief executive’s future is back on the agenda

ANOTHER meeting to discuss the future of the county council's chief executive Andrea Hill is taking place later this week.

The council's dismissals appeals committee is to meet at St Edmund House, in Rope Walk, on Thursday afternoon.

Ironically the papers printed to inform members that the meeting is taking place are officially in the name of the senior officer responsible for organising meetings – Mrs Hill herself.

Officially the meeting is open to the press and public, but the third item on the agenda – after hearing apologies for absence and any declarations of interest – is a motion to exclude the press and public because 'exempt information' is due to be discussed.

The meeting will then consider a report by the strategic human resources manager (reward and performance) which has also been withheld.

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The meeting is a follow-up to the meeting of the committee on June 3 which considered a report by London-based law firm Wragge and Co about 'anonymous whistle-blowing allegations' about the chief executive.

After that meeting the council said: 'The committee was able to resolve some of the allegations. However it felt that a number required further investigation.

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'In addition, as a result of Freedom of Information requests into expense claims by Andrea Hill, the committee has asked the investigation team to review those claims.

'The findings of the team will be reported to the committee at their next meeting. Andrea Hill will remain on extended leave by mutual consent until that date.

'Suffolk County Council is anxious that all investigations are completed and resolved as soon as possible in the interests of all those involved.'

There are five members of the committee: Conservatives Bill Sadler (chairman), Tony Goldson, Kathy Gosling and John Klaschka, and Liberal Democrat David Wood.

Mrs Hill has not been at her desk since April 18, the day Mark Bee was elected leader of the ruling Conservative group at Endeavour House. She began a long-planned holiday on April 19 and her leave was extended on the day she was due to return to work, May 5, while the investigation began.

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