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Chief Exec axed as Wiltshire's Financial Crisis Deepens

October 6, 2011 4:51 PM

In a staggering turnaround, the Conservative Cabinet have made the man they appointed just 18 month ago to lead Wiltshire Council redundant.

Leader of the Wiltshire Council Lib Dem Group Jon Hubbard was at Thursday's meeting, where he commented "This is a knee-jerk decision to a funding crisis. It's been taken by a broken administration, relying on a broken decision-making process, to fix their broken budget. This sudden and desperate change leaves me with real fears for the future of the Council.

"It's shocking to note that our neighbours on Bath and North East Somerset Council recently considered a similar proposal, but after months of deliberation involving all of their Councillors, and the commissioning of an independent study, rejected the proposal unanimously. The Conservative Leader in Wiltshire has taken this decision with virtually no involvement from elected members, no detailed study, no independent risk-assessment. Even as the process to remove the Chief Exec begins, only a few people in the Conservative Cabinet have seen the details, and know the truth about the costs.

"Wiltshire Liberal Democrats have warned that without independent risk assesments, no-one can see the damaging long-term effects. We're worried that the people of Wiltshire will be paying for this decision for years, as yet more money disappears into the black hole of Conservative maladministration.

"In today's meetings, we sought assurances that details of redundancy payments would be released; the Conservative Leader pledged herself to release the information at the earliest opportunity, if it were legally possible to do so. I am writing to the Office of the Information Commissioner, asking for clarification on the ability of the Council to reveal senior officer termination packages. The public must be informed, urgently, of how much they are paying for this desperate decision by a Conservative administration teetering on the brink of collapse."