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Agenda item

Public Interest Report - Early Termination of the Chief Executive's Employment Contract

To receive a report that responds formally to the Public Interest Report recently issued by the Council’s external auditor.

 

Minutes:

Council received a report of the Chief Operating Officer (COO) that responded formally to the Public Interest Report (PIR) recently issued by the Council’s external auditor, Mazars.

 

Members were invited firstly to ask questions of the representatives of Mazars in attendance at the meeting in relation to the factual content of the PIR.

 

On conclusion of the question and answer session, the Lord Mayor moved, and Cllr Ayre seconded, the following recommendations contained in paragraph 4 of the report of the COO:

 

“Members are asked to:

          i.         Accept the recommendations of the Public Interest Report presented by the external auditor.

        ii.         Approve the action plan that is attached as Annex B.

       iii.        Agree that the Audit and Governance Committee receive updates on implementation of the Action Plan.”

 

After some debate on the recommendations motion, Cllr Douglas moved, and Cllr Galvin seconded, a motion to suspend Standing Orders 10.2 and 23.1 to enable a motion of no confidence to be moved without notice.

 

A named vote was taken on this motion, the result of which was a unanimous vote in favour of the motion, with no abstentions.  The motion to suspend Standing Orders was therefore declared CARRIED.

 

[The meeting was adjourned for a break from 7:58 pm to 8:14 pm]

 

Debate on the original recommendations then resumed.  On conclusion of the debate, a separate named vote was taken on each of the three recommendations, with the following result:

 

Recommendation (i)

 

All Members voted in favour of this recommendation, which was therefore declared CARRIED.

 

Recommendation (ii)

For

Against

Abstained

Cllr Aspden

Cllr Barnes

Cllr Galvin

Cllr Ayre

Cllr Crawshaw

 

Cllr Baker

Cllr Doughty

Cllr Barker

Cllr Douglas

 

Cllr Carr

 

 

Cllr Craghill

Cllr Heaton

 

Cllr Cullwick

Cllr Kilbane

 

Cllr Cuthbertson

Cllr Lomas

 

Cllr D’Agorne

Cllr Melly

 

Cllr Daubeney

Cllr Musson

 

Cllr Fenton

Cllr Myers

 

Cllr Fisher

Cllr Norman

 

Cllr Hollyer

Cllr Pavlovic

 

Cllr Hook

Cllr Perrett

 

Cllr Hunter

Cllr Rowley

 

Cllr Mason

Cllr K Taylor

 

Cllr Orrell

Cllr Warters

 

Cllr Pearson

Cllr Webb

 

Cllr Runciman

Cllr Wells

 

Cllr Smalley

Cllr Looker (Lord Mayor)

 

Cllr D Taylor

 

 

Cllr Vassie

 

 

Cllr Waller

 

 

Cllr Wann

 

 

Cllr Waudby

 

 

Cllr Widdowson

 

 

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The above recommendation was therefore declared CARRIED.

 

Recommendation (iii)

 

All Members voted in favour of this recommendation, which was therefore declared CARRIED, and it was.

 

Resolved:  That the recommendations contained in paragraph 4 of the report of the Chief Operating Officer be approved.

 

[The meeting was adjourned for a break from 9:14 pm to 9:23 pm]

 

Motion of No Confidence

 

Cllr Myers then moved, and Cllr Doughty seconded the following motion without notice:

 

“Council notes the findings of its independent external auditor’s Public Interest Report (PIR) and the significant role played by the council leader in removing the council’s former Chief Executive from their job.

Council concludes from the report’s findings that the officer’s removal was for reason other than their ability to effectively do their job - at significant avoidable cost to the local taxpayer.

Council further notes from the independent PIR assessment:

·        that the Council Leader prioritised political considerations over propriety in the use of public money in making this decision;

·        that the Council Leader failed to declare a prejudicial conflict of interest in chairing the meeting and taking part in the (potentially unlawful) decision to commit over £400k to ensure the officer was removed from their job;

·        the Council Leader’s decision to use this sum of public money to ensure a bullying and victimisation case made against himself and the council was dropped;

·        that while off work ill, evidence provided indicates ‘the council’ did not want the former Chief Executive to return to work.

The Council Leader has already once before been found in breach of the Councillor Code of Conduct.

Council believes pursuing a personal vendetta to remove a council officer for simply doing their job, and using £400k of public money to do so, is immoral and an unacceptable waste of public money, representing a major failure to adhere to the Nolan principles for standards in public life.

Council resolves that it no longer has confidence in Councillor Keith Aspden to undertake the role of Council Leader with the integrity, professionalism and ethical standards required of someone having the honour to represent this great city at such a high level.”

After debate, a named vote was taken on the above motion, with the following result:

For

Against

Abstained

Cllr Barnes

Cllr Aspden

Cllr Carr

Cllr Crawshaw

Cllr Ayre

 

Cllr Doughty

Cllr Baker

 

Cllr Douglas

Cllr Barker

 

Cllr Fitzpatrick

Cllr Craghill

 

Cllr Galvin

Cllr Cullwick

 

Cllr Heaton

Cllr Cuthbertson

 

Cllr Kilbane

Cllr D’Agorne

 

Cllr Lomas

Cllr Daubeney

 

Cllr Melly

Cllr Fenton

 

Cllr Musson

Cllr Fisher

 

Cllr Myers

Cllr Hollyer

 

Cllr Norman

Cllr Hook

 

Cllr Pavlovic

Cllr Hunter

 

Cllr Perrett

Cllr Mason

 

Cllr Rowley

Cllr Orrell

 

Cllr K Taylor

Cllr Pearson

 

Cllr Warters

Cllr Runciman

 

Cllr Webb

Cllr Smalley

 

Cllr Wells

Cllr D Taylor

 

Cllr Looker (Lord Mayor)

Cllr Vassie

 

 

Cllr Waller

 

 

Cllr Wann

 

 

Cllr Waudby

 

 

Cllr Widdowson

 

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The above motion was therefore declared LOST and it was

 

Resolved:  That the motion of no confidence not be approved.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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