Closed Meeting To Discuss Chief Exec Employment Issues
Issues surrounding the employment of the chief executive of the islands’ Council, Philip Hygate, will be discussed at a closed-door meeting today.
Recently, Mr Hygate has been at the centre of a controversial debate on whether over 100 days of untaken holiday leave, said to be worth around £40,000, could be claimed.
Councillors wouldn’t support paying out that amount, although a meeting in September agreed that he will be able to take some of the time off.
Today’s discussions are likely to address Mr Hygate’s accountability to members, over what he is doing and when. Some councillors are unhappy that they have not been directly informed when the Chief Executive has attended business meetings on the mainland.
We also understand there’ll be some discussion of widely reported concerns over Mr Hygate’s conduct, although last Friday’s allegations that school employee, Julie Hicks, was told by Mr Hygate that her home was monitored, didn’t make the deadline for inclusion in the meeting so they are not expected to feature heavily.
Mr Hygate denies that allegation and is expected to robustly defend his record and loyalty to the Council today.
It’s emerged that Mr Hygate has had a 12-page letter tabled which questions chairman Mike Hick’s ability. It includes reference to Mr Hicks’ alleged forgetfulness and how it would affect his performance and ability to undertake his role.
Mr Hygate has included notes of conversations dating as far back as 20th January 2011 in which Councillor Hicks has mentioned memory lapses. There’s also reference made to Mike’s late mother and her memory lapses, including recounting that she forgot to sign her will documentation.
The paper also refers to the side effects of the strong painkillers Mr Hicks was on during his recent illness.
Mr Hygate was not available for comment yesterday.
Mr Hicks says he’s prepared to stand up and take any flack from the electorate but he feels thoroughly disgusted by some of the content he has read of late.
We understand that there are three voting options at today’s meeting; to leave things as they are, to arrange mediation or to suspend Mr Hygate as a neutral act while an investigation can be undertaken. It’s thought that would have to be completed within two months.