Scilly Councillors Outline Concerns Over Chief Exec Meeting
Five Councillors have written to the Council chairman to share their concerns that the chief executive, Phillip Hygate, may be suspended from work while investigations into allegations surrounding his conduct are undertaken.
Members will meet to discuss employment issues relating to Mr Hygate tomorrow morning.
Cllrs Marian Bennett, Julia Day, Chris Hopkins, Brian Lowen and Fred Ticehurst wrote to say they have no knowledge of the allegations, but they believe there’ll be, “some kind of disciplinary process” and they want assurance that proper procedures are being followed.
We understand the word disciplinary isn’t being referred to in the meeting paperwork.
Cllr Bennett told Radio Scilly there have been questions over whether the chairman and vice chairman of the Council have the authority to take action without it being initiated in a Council meeting.
In the letter, the five members state that the Council has a duty to its staff and to taxpayers. They warn that failure to conduct business appropriately could result in heavy financial burdens.
They want assurance that independent legal advice has been taken in respect of any action, as they don’t want the Council’s reputation to be damaged at a time when the authority is already under the spotlight.
There are complex and statutory procedures laid down for dealing with Council chief officer employment matters, adopted mainly to prevent political interference in Council’s that are controlled by political parties.
Julia Day told us she didn’t wish to expand on the comments in the letter as, “this is a very sensitive matter and as a community we are in a very delicate place right now.”