Scilly’s Chief Executive, Philip Hygate, Suspended From Post

Council Chief Executive, Philip Hygate, at today’s meeting

The Chief Executive of the Council of the Isles of Scilly has been suspended from his post, pending an investigation.

This follows a four-and-a-half hour meeting yesterday in which the Policy and Resources Committee considered a number of allegations against Philip Hygate.

A statement sent to all Councillor’s said: “Following careful consideration of all available information the Committee agreed that the allegations warranted further investigation by a Designated Independent Person. To facilitate this process the Chief Executive has been suspended from duties with immediate effect. This suspension does not constitute disciplinary action and is a neutral act.”

Earlier, Mr Hygate’s lawyer, Peter Keith-Lucas, had tried to have the meeting stopped, saying his client’s terms and conditions of employment required any disciplinary procedure to go before a panel of members appointed by Full Council.

Mr Keith-Lucas said members of the Policy and Resources Committee where putting themselves at risk of legal action if they continued with the process and Cllrs Ticehurst and Savill both expressed their concern over this.

Adam Barker, Senior Advisor from the Local Government Association, acting on behalf of the Council, said the processes laid out in Mr Hygate’s contract were simply a UK-wide model, that could be altered, and often were, depending on the circumstances. He advised that the meeting could proceed lawfully.

Mr Keith-Lucas questioned the legal advice offered by Mr Barker, stating he was “not a lawyer.”

But committee Chair, Amanda Martin, said the meeting was not a disciplinary procedure, simply a decision on whether to proceed with an investigation, and they had taken extensive legal advice before the meeting.

Mr Hygate leaving the meeting

She added that Scilly was a small community, “rife with unease” and any specially appointed panel could be accused of ‘cherry-picking’ members.

Cllr Richard McCarthy accused Mr Hygate’s lawyer of trying to ‘hijack’ the meeting, adding that he’d had plenty of time beforehand to table any objections.

Cllr Dudley Mumford said this was a, “veiled threat to plant uncertainty in our decision-making process.” He added, “It’s not the first time we’ve had this type of pressure from the establishment.”

But it was Cllr David Pearson who eventually tabled a proposal to move forward with the meeting. He said members, “had urgent issues to resolve and this needed to be done, today, on behalf of both the Council and the Chief Executive.”

Councillors voted by four members to one to proceed with the meeting, with one abstention, at which point the press and public were excluded.

Council Chairman Mike Hicks was advised against participating in discussions because of his family connection to Julie Hicks and left the meeting before the allegations were discussed.

Any investigation that could potentially lead to the dismissal of a local authority chief officer is highly regulated in law. The first stage will be the appointment of an independent person, as yet unidentified, after liaison with the Local Government Association, who will head up an investigation.

Mike Hicks says he doesn’t want that process lasting as long as Bryce’s, which he described as “absolutely shameful,” and says he wants as much of the proceedings to be made public as he can.

He also doesn’t feel the exercise will take divert staff attention from important Council business, praising the “good team” that is working at the Town Hall.

The news of the investigation has been welcomed by citizen group, Heart, who say they want to support members of the community to provide relevant information to facilitate a thorough investigation.

Fran Grottick, their press spokesperson, said the investigation will give everyone a chance to look carefully at what has happened in the past. She said going down this route could seem “quite destructive” but she feels it’s the only way for the community to “heal and move forward.”


61 Responses to Scilly’s Chief Executive, Philip Hygate, Suspended From Post

  1. Nobby Nobbs January 5, 2013 at 12:11 am

    This is an interesting article
    http://www.mediabistro.com/mediajobsdaily/tv-radio-jobs-are-among-top-10-to-most-likely-attract-psychopaths_b13338

    The top ten jobs likely to attract a psychopath are…
    1. CEO
    2. Lawyer
    3. Media (Television/Radio)
    4. Salesperson
    5. Surgeon
    6. Journalist
    7. Police officer
    8. Clergy person
    9. Chef
    10. Civil servant

  2. Fran Grottick November 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Dear Two Flower
    I don’t think that would be usual.
    Why do you ask?
    Probably best to ask an elected Councillor.
    They should have the protocol.

    • Tom November 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      Just a small point, not all councillors are elected.

  3. Katie F November 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Two Flower, in cases like this the answer is normally ‘yes’, but that they would not be able to talk about work. Speaking from having worked in employment law for some years…

  4. Two Flower November 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Could anyone clarify whether as part of his suspension whether he is allowed to have contact with anyone in the council?

  5. Todd Stevens November 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Its probably because of it!

  6. adrian drew November 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    So is all this just flak to divert attention from the audit report on the Head’s suspension? Anyone seen it?

  7. Jenny Green November 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    At the moment gossip and hearsay seem to be the main part of any allegations against Mr H. I hope all the people who have alledged misconduct, abuse of position etc will now come forward and give their stories to the Councillors acting on their behalf. Whether they have signed a gagging clause or not, all evidence will be required, or Mr H will be reinstated to his post.

    • Nobby Nobbs November 4, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  8. PAT HICKS November 3, 2012 at 10:29 am

    The councillors have now got control of these islands, and we now need to wait and see what the investigations comes up with.
    hopefully as to who and what went wrong here.
    SO JUST WATCH THIS SPACE???
    And we all need to pull together and start working together.
    Time to stop the scarmongering to……..

  9. Nigel Plevin November 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Although I am not aware of the details of the recent events that precipitated Phil Hygate’s suspension pending an official investigation, I have nothing but admiration for those that have had the determination to proceed in a manner that has led to this situation.
    During my 18 years teaching on St Mary’s, and one of the reasons that I left the Islands, was my personal concern regarding the integrity of certain Council Officers and the Chief Executive.
    So although difficulties will inevitably lie ahead, I urge those with any influence in these matters to maintain their fortitude, determination and perseverance to enable the islands to re-establish themselves in a manner that restores dignity and even-handedness to the authority’s rule. To encourage you in this I remind you that any chef will verify that even the best Teflon eventually loses its potency.
    Finally, I’m reminded of a George Harrison inspired Doctor consoling a patient who suffered severe constipation for 20 years, her words of encouragement were “All things must pass!”.
    Nigel Plevin

  10. Bloody Stupid Johnson November 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Tony if you read what I put above, it’s pretty clear why it happened and why it could happen again.

    Steve Sims

  11. Stavropol November 2, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I think it is important to follow on with the route cause if this problem.
    Democracy works because political parties have agenda’s that dictate the direction of policy. The most popular agenda wins an election and policy follows that provides direction.
    Now the fundamental problem in the Isles of Scilly is that there is virtually no agenda, no policy and hence no elected direction.
    This has allowed the CEO fill this political void and to impose his agenda for many years onto the council.
    Understanding this fundamental problem is the key to preventing this situation in future.

    It is time more people take seriously their place in the community and stand up for election. This makes it less likely the stall worts of the elected council will be there as long and as they have and thus less likely to form ‘relations’ with officers. Remember the officers are civil servants, they serve the elected council. The servants appear here to have forgotten their role, and the only ones that can have allowed that to happen were the old guard elected members, they have been around too long.

    It is time Scilly to stand up and be counted.

  12. Tony Brown November 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Whilst not an islander, next year will be the fiftieth anniversery of my first visit, so it would be fair to say I have both a love of and a keen interest in the islands. My puzzle is how a situation arose where the employed Chief Executive of the Council seems to have been ruling the islands. In all other unitary authorities, the CEO is answerable to the elected councillors. I cannot fathom why it has taken so long for those elected representatives to take action over a man who appears, if those appearances are to be believed, to have run the islands along the lines of a fiefdom.

    All credit to those who have woken up to the situation. The enquiry into the CEO’s behaviour, together with the investigation into the suspension of Bryce Wilby, will make interesting reading. It is unfortunate that all this is now making the news beyond the islands (BBC Radio Cornwall has run both stories) at a time when tourist numbers are falling and there is uncertainty over the impact of the loss of the helicopter. Maybe the old adage of “any publicity is good publicity” will hold true – who knows?8

  13. Jonny Thomas November 2, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Whilst most councils ignore the FOI and the Date Protection Act, they cannot ignore a Court Order relating to disclosure in an Employment Tribunal. Also if it gets that far there could be civil action and more court orders. Ignoring a court order would be contempt of court.
    The audit will be what the council wants and is not independent.

    • Nobby Nobbs November 2, 2012 at 11:48 am

      John Thomas, please can you provide evidence to back your statement up that that most councils ignore Freedom of information requests

      Where you say “Date protection act” I assume you mean the “Data protection act”, again please can you provide evidence to back your statement up.

      Your statement “The audit will be what the council wants and is not independent”. Is again factually incorrect. The direction of the audit will be “set” by the council but the actual execution of the audit will be undertaken by an independent auditor who will be unbiased and will only report the facts as found.

  14. Nobby Nobbs November 2, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Are you kidding, this is the council of the Isles of Scilly where freedom of information requests are routinely ignored by the council, so people have to resort to complaining to the information commissioner instead; See the related story on the Scilly Today site

  15. adrian drew November 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Thanks. I entirely appreciate the position in which Cllr Hicks found himself.
    I haven’t seen the 12 page document but it seems a very long note if it merely focuses on Cllr Hicks alleged memory loss. Is there a copy of both sets of correspondence readily available?
    Disappointed that as yet nooone has been able to say any more about the Audit report into the circumstances surrounding the suspension of the HT. is this to be published?

  16. School Mum November 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I agree with Robin that there needs to be a fair investigation and sympathise with John as Mr Wilby didn’t appear to receive that. Two wrongs do not make a right, though, and from now on everything needs to be done honestly and above board. If, in the past, this has not been the case – the evidence will turn up in the investigation.

    In the meantime, we need to stick to facts otherwise those being investigated may argue, justly, that they have not been entitled to a fair hearing, potentially affecting their outcomes. Years ago, I have been on both sides of a hearing and each time, I was not permitted to discuss the case (with anyone other than the legal team) for fear of prejudicing the outcome. The difficult part of this, on Scilly, is that you cannot avoid meeting other people involved in the case so remaining objective is tricky.

  17. Todd Stevens November 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I spoke to a CE of a large council and he says there are many ‘decent’ and qualified people who could easily do Hygates job. And they would love to come here and take over. I recon its time for a female to do it. How about monpoloki?? Get her in during the investigation and if Hygate gets the boot and she wants the job permanently??

  18. adrian drew November 1, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Can someone tell me when the audit report on the circumstances surrounding the susoension and resignation of the former Headteacher will be published? It will be interesting to see then if the actions of the CE were justified or not. Interesting that Cllr Hicks withdrew from the meeting yesterday due a ‘conflict of interest’

    • Samual Vimes cmdr November 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      There are two reasons why cllr Hicks withdrew from the meeting due to a conflict of interest.
      1. Cllr’s Hicks daughter in law presented the council with a body of evidence that accused the chief executive of bullying and harassment.
      2. Prior to the meeting the chief executive sent a 12 page document to all councillors claiming that Mr Hicks was suffering from memory loss and was not up to the job.

      If Cllr Hicks had remained in the meeting and was a part of the voting process that suspended the chief executive then Mr Hygate’s legal representative could have rightly claimed a conflict of interest.
      So in the best interests of the proceedings, the council and the islands Cllr Hicks did the right thing and removed him self as would be expected. Well done Mike Hicks is what I say

  19. Woodrow Wyat October 31, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Losing Heart ..

    ..quote
    “I fully back the councillors who wanted things done properly – who have taken the flack on here”

    I bet that message has been placed by 1 of the 5 councillors or there immediate family members. Nobody else would want to support there actions. Ask around. Only the 5 support this and thats why they stand out

  20. Fran Grottick October 31, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Dear “Losing Heart”
    As a HEART Committee member,I would certainly like
    to address your concerns. Perhaps you might inform us of the
    information that you find upsetting and we can reply.
    Fran Grottick

  21. Todd Stevens October 31, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Its certainly not been a waste of time coming on here. We can do nothing about BIH coming to an end- but we can, and did, do somthing about our problems wirh the conduct of our top officers. This site has given us a voice and helped to expose whats been going on here. Bullies who once felt invincible have felt the power of the people. THIS has got everyone talking and airing their concerns. Heres a big- THANK YOU -to Keri from me. Also a big- WELL DONE- to those councillors whoi listened and had the courage to tackle some very difficult problems..

  22. Ignorant Outsider? October 31, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    So a majority (not just one) of councillors vote through a payrise which amounts to 22% because no payrise had been given in 6 years. This is driven forward by Julia Day and approved by Chairman Mike Hicks. You have a lower rate of council tax than Cornwall, the council isn’t in deficit & you pay your senior officers significantly less than their mainland counterparts…your helicopter service has stopped today-something which will have a significant impact on your economy & lives and you’re all wasting your time on this?? Am I missing something?

    • Ponder Stibbens October 31, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Yes, you’re missing quite a lot actually.
      1.The payrise was voted through by the shameless five not the full council
      2.The senior officers are all on £60-90K pa they don’t need a payrise and if performance is anything to go by they certainly don’t deserve one.
      3. We have a lower rate of council tax than Cornwall, so your point is ?
      4.We all knew the chopper was going to stop about a year ago, yes its a tragedy for the islands and life changing for everyone who live here but its gone, get on with it.

      As to wasting my time “on here” the same could be said of you

    • Pepper October 31, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      You’re not missing anything, you’re just unbiased and therefore thinking rationally unlike a lot of people on here…

      • Ponder Stibbens October 31, 2012 at 10:21 pm

        And your of course totally unbiased aren’t you Pepper But thank you for realising that I am unbiased and therefore thinking rationally

        If you look at all the posts on here, the consensus is roughly ten posts in support of the chief exec’s suspension for every one against, that must surly tell you something.
        The beauty of internet blogs like this is that everyone has equal access, which means the suspended ceo’s supporters have the same ability to make comments as the the suspended ceo’s detractors. By simple rational thought when the majority of posts all say the same thing you have a consensus of opinion.

        I am of the majority, it would seem that you are not.

  23. Losing HEART October 31, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    I’ve just read something very upsetting regarding the HEART group….I do hope we haven’t been duped by them, but it looks likely. There appears to be terrible conflicts of interest here from members of HEART. I fully back the councillors who wanted things done properly – who have taken the flack on here.

    • JonnyM October 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      I back ANY Councillors who want things done properly. And from reading the ScillyToday story, it looks as though yesterday’s meeting WAS done properly. The Council’s advisors said it was legal and the committee voted to proceed. ‘Losing HEART’ do you have any view about the meeting that contradicts this?

  24. Jenny Green October 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Samual’s comments make very sober reading.
    There are other X I.O.S council employees, who were suspended from their posts without being told why and whose colleagues, who were also the person’s close friends, were told not to contact or meet with them. In fear of loosing their own jobs, they did just that, cut their friend off without a word, out of fear. There was no collective OMGs from the public. The person I am thinking of, just quietly left their post after nearly 20 years of loyal work. It is not only the practices of the CEO who should be investigated, but also some of the other senior council offiicers.

  25. Mark Prebble (aka Binky) October 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    John
    With regard to your claims about certain costs, business rates are governed centrally by the Valuation Office Agency and local authorities only collect the money. They have no say in the amount that businesses pay, see http://www.voa.gov.uk/corporate/Publications/businessRatesAnIntro.html

    With regard to council tax, here in Scilly I understand that the council executive took the decision to take the one off government grant to freeze council tax for a year (someone please correct me if I’m wrong). This course of action means our council tax will eventually go up regardless and that the budgetary shortfall will have to be made up by job losses and financial constraints on spending.

    You raise other points regarding the DLF and contractors. Is the DLF good value for money? With regard to contractors, perhaps there are workers already here on the islands who would welcome the opportunity to expand their role in providing good value services to the community.

    Does it not strike you as strange that while every other council across the country is facing cutbacks and loss of services, that here on Scilly there is little talk of tightening our belt and making our budget balance? Are we immune from the wider financial picture or has our council been misguided in its financial planning for the future.

    Bloody Stupid Johnson is as always insightful and thought provoking so while this is troubling time for our community on a number of fronts, perhaps we could take the opportunity that winter gives us to reflect on what we actually want for Scilly.

  26. pat hicks October 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I dont think John meant that linda. i think he was refering to what happened to mr wilby who really did not have a fair hearing. i am sure the investigation will be right and proper. i am also full of admiration for julie hicks and christian May it could not have been easy for them . thank you to the councillors who have listened to the public and have finally done something about it..
    And hopefully the people who have felt they have been wrongly treated will have the chance to have their say…

  27. Bloody Stupid Johnson October 31, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Actually it’s Steve Sims, but I’m quite taken with the Disc World Character route.

    I was pleased with the outcome of yesterday’s meeting. But the council still has a number of structural problems which need to be addressed to help prevent a reoccurrence down the line.

    1. Because of the nature of our council, which is not party political, we end up with 21 councillors who have no agenda and if they do they have no transmission mechanism.

    2. Because of 1) they have no independent legal advice which would be the case with all (non parish) councils on the mainland through their party machine, and so can’t easily gainsay advice from officers. Further officers can pretty well cherry pick the legal advice the council get given and the councillors cannot realistically go against legal advice. The pay rises would almost certainly not have gone through with independent legal advice. And importantly none of the chief officers would have taken action on the issue., in any case.

    3. Again relating to 1, the council is reactive rather then proactive, the agenda is put forward by the officers because the councillors don’t have one themselves.

    4. Because of 3, we have had an alarmingly compliant status quo, which has in effect handed all the power to the officers, Hygate in particular. In his favour you can hardly blame him if he became a megalomaniac given that pretty well all the decisions come through him, he then advises, sources the consultants and steers the whole thing, and there is no one with any clout to gainsay him. The rules of engagement are determined by him through 2, and what has effectively become a dirigiste dogma. And Hygate has been in all but name leader of the council for years. I would go as far as to say that we have never had a really effective council leader at least in my memory.

    5. Our councillors historically haven’t been very good, until yesterday. But this is not their fault. I’d hazard a guess that they all mean well, but mostly they have no background or experience of the process (bar Gordon) elsewhere. They go into the council as it is, expecting it to be as is and have no clear notion of what a normal council should be. There is no selection process as there is in a party political council, so pretty well anyone can get on.

    6. Our political system is based upon an adversarial process, which is absolutely not the case here; there is no effective reasoned debate on big issues. This is particularly relevant with respect to employment law (2) again. Perhaps more so with budgets, no one (probably) on the council has the background to examine the finances properly and pretty well has to accept what is given to them. They can hum and haw for an hour about the merits of giving £150 to the guides and then put the education budget through on the nod.

    So what we have is the equivalent of a government which is entirely led by senior civil servants, which is arguably better than no government at all, which with some justification is probably Mr Hygate’s view. And it seems to have worked quite well in Belgium.

    These are structural problems which will be very difficult to address. The obvious way forward is to have a party political council, which would be unpopular, with free legal advice on tap. Local people like our independent council even though it effectively hamstrings it as anything other than a legislative body; it clearly hasn’t been an executive body. Enthusiasm is not enough. Most councillors go for elections with leaflets explaining that housing and education are their priorities, and very little else. But I doubt that the initiative for the new school, the social housing on the Off Islands and (love it or hate it) Porthcressa came from Councillors.

    These issues can’t be magicked away but they need to be addressed. But well done Amanda et al, it took a lot of fortitude and courage.

  28. Ray and Linda Wornes October 31, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Are you suggesting then ‘John’ that no investigation takes place in case it reveals corruption, blackmailing etc. and we have to hand over our administration to Cornwall? Secrecy is the enemy of truth and justice.

    We would like to thank all those Councillors at the P & R meeting yesterday who voted for an investigation and suspension of the CE. It must have been a very difficult meeting and we congratulate them for their determination in reaching this decision.

    Anyone who has spent decades like us observing the personal torment of Council employees and others, we are just relieved a full investigation is to take place. We would also like to say how much we respected and admired Mike Hicks’ mother, Laurel. She was a great friend to us when we first came to Scilly. She was a very caring Scillonian with a wonderful lively personality.

  29. John Banfield October 31, 2012 at 10:53 am

    And now we must wait for the official investigation into the events of the last few months and hopefully further back into the past. If what I have been told is true the outcome will help to salve the heartbreak and anguish caused to many innocent people over the years. Not wishing to instigate a witch hunt, perhaps those who have aided and abetted these alleged acts will be brought to task, their motive for being party to these acts be they greed, spite, ignorance or fear needs to be exposed, but there has been, it would appear collusion by others and as I have said before, truth will out in the end!

  30. John October 31, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I hope you all know what you’re talking about, because there are factors here that could change every single one of our lives. There is now going to be a full investigation into Philip and the council. If they discover any signs of illegality, corruption, blackmailing, leaking of information there is every possibility they could remove more people than just Philip, and maybe even remove our unitary authority and hand us back to Cornwall County Council (Something Mr Highgate has fought constantly to stop from happening). If that happens there will be no town hall jobs, no DLF, and over 250 people unemployed with nowhere to get work. Now even if you don’t work for the council imagine this situation. If we get placed under Cornwall county council our house banding and rates charges will be increased dramatically. Our band D costings are considerably less than they are on the mainland. Our business rates are considerably less too. All work on council property would be sub contracted out and moorwell alp will remain exactly as it is as it will take years to make the site fit for an outsourced company to go in there. I agree that there are problems at the council and that solutions to these problems need to be found. Just be careful what you wish for as it may come back to haunt you,

    • Samual Vimes October 31, 2012 at 11:54 am

      While I can empathise with your concerns regards the employment issues, look at it from an outsiders perspective, especially a Whitehall mandarin looking to save money.

      A unitary authority that employs over 200 people that serves just 2000 people.
      A unitary authority that has had to suspend it’s chief executive
      A unitary authority that is under investigation by the DofE
      A unitary authority that in effect awarded itself a 22% payrise
      A unitary authority that that has spent vast sums of money in legal fees
      A unitary authority that accused a resident of fraudulent postal voting and was subsequently taken to the high court and told to pay damages.
      A unitary authority that has spent vast sums of money in compensation claims against all the litigation taken out against it
      A unitary authority that refuses to answer peoples freedom of information requests
      A unitary authority that has in many instances not followed correct procedures when it comes to procurement or staffing.
      A unitary authority that is constantly accused of bullying and where people live in fear of retribution from said authority.
      A unitary authority where even the chairman of the council and his family suffer intimidation and slander at the hands of the chief executive (allegedly)

      Are you seeing the bigger picture here?

      If you were that mandarin what conclusion would you come to.
      If the Islands does lose the council, the council will only have itself to blame

      • Two Flower October 31, 2012 at 7:11 pm

        Samual Vimes (Commander Retired)?

        Brilliant synopsis.

        If power is stripped from the Council then it only has itself to blame.

        Can anyone tell me if it’s true that Mr Hygate and several other senior officers were in the council offices at the weekend hectically shredding stuff paperwork ahead of Monday’s meeting?

        I’m sure it’s just normal operating procedure!

    • IanT October 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      As I have said before, I was surprised that Scilly was not included in the new Cornwall as it made such sense and would have resulted in savings. That is not to say that I necessarily supported the idea but with the recent history under the rule of the present CEO, it may have been a good, idea. The CEO was against it as he would have lost his job and I don’t believe he was particularly interested in any other islanders’ jobs..

      There would still need to be a good number of (Cornwall) Council employees on the islands but there would be no need for those whose jobs were easily covered by Cornwall. After all an additional 2000 people would have little effect to the workload of many

    • Pepper October 31, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      Totally agree with you John – people aren’t thinking of the long term repercussions of this. People might say let’s get rid of him as quickly as possible, but will they be this happy if Cornwall Council do decide to take over? I think not. No doubt if that were to happen the same people will then backtrack and say we didn’t ask for this, but they should have thought about it in the first place.

      • Hrun The Barbarian October 31, 2012 at 11:03 pm

        Pepper

        So what’s your solution then?

        The way that senior council officers and some councillors have acted is quite disgusting.

        I’d rather be governed by Cornwall CC than a corrupt council here.

      • Verity Pushpram November 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        Why does everyone think Cornwall wants to take over the ios?; We’d just be another expense they don’t need

        • Granny Weatherwax November 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm

          Why wouldn’t they? All those lovely grants we get!

          Don’t list to Nanny Ogg her minds fuddled!

    • Todd Stevens November 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      What a load of scare mongering Tosh.

  31. John Banfield October 31, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Robin: Both suspects deserve to be treated equally? Does that now mean Mr Hygate will not be allowed any contact with any members of staff whether they be friends or not. This was the case with Mr Wilby and was probably one of the most difficult parts of his suspension not being allowed to even acknowledge friends in the street.

  32. Fran Grottick October 31, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Yes, Robin, it is right that all should be treated equally and
    fairly.
    However, without wishing to prejudge the Dept. of Education’s
    enquiry the situation at the school appears to show a singular
    lack of due process and protocol.

  33. Robin October 31, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Interesting that the Council suspends the school’s former Head teacher and the usual suspects voice their disgust and claim he’s a victim. Mr Hygate is suspended and the usual suspects jump to praise the action. Don’t both parties deserve to be treated equally?

    • IanT October 31, 2012 at 9:05 am

      But it wasn’t the ‘Council’ who suspended the Head Teacher it was effectively the CEO..!

      • Todd Stevens November 2, 2012 at 7:30 pm

        ……….and suspended wilby whilst he wasnt even present-how cowardly was that!!!

    • JonnyM October 31, 2012 at 10:50 am

      You’re exactly right Robin. Maybe Mr Hygate should be denied the right to put his side of events until the media get involved and highlight it. Or maybe his life and that of his wife should be made so unbearable by an investigation that drags on for months that he feels he has to resign and leave the islands.

      Yes, I’m all for treating Mr Hygate in EXACTLY the same way.

    • Pepper October 31, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      Robin, finally someone who is seeing the whole picture. Some people have such double standards – no doubt Mr Hygate is disliked because he can say no to people, whereas Wilby promised everyone the earth, didn’t deliver so promised even more. At least Philip had the guts to say he couldn’t do certain things.

  34. Todd Stevens October 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Neville?? No thank you!! Whomever comes in should be on a short contract and will have to tread very carefully. I think this community has awoken from its slumber and will no longer stand for any more nonsense. When Hygate has gone-and he should resign- the members will need to have a good whistle blowing system in place so that the public can tell of bullying tactics being used in future. For far too long the members have been deaf to those who had become victims of the past regime-whom portrayed us as trouble makers. They need to keep listening so that this is never allowed to happen again.

    I say we do away with the roll of CE altogether and split the job between three other top officers. This has worked well in other councils.

  35. Fred Colon October 30, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Rejoice, Rejoice, rejoice !

  36. EBK October 30, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Wooooo hooooo ding dong the witch is dead.

  37. Looloo October 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    OMG! that would be leaping from frying pan into fire!

  38. Stinking Porth October 30, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    So does that mean Nevile is in charge then…..?

    • Nobby Nobbs October 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      I Hope not!

  39. Bonnie Paul October 30, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    about time, now let’s just hope that justice prevails!

  40. Todd Stevens October 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Like 911 & the death of Diana, I’will always remember where I was when I heard the news. Drink Carmen?