Judicial Review Could Be Sought Over Chief Exec’s Suspension

Council Chief Executive, Philip Hygate

Philip Hygate’s legal team has informed the Council that they are considering applying for a judicial review over the suspension of the Chief Executive.

They’ve issued what’s termed a pre-action protocol letter.

They don’t believe that the Policy and Resources committee had the authority to suspend the Chief Executive, a point made by Mr Hygate’s advisor in that Council meeting.

We understand that the Council has been asked to reply by the 15th November and the authority’s legal advisors are handling the matter.

It’s also emerged that two councillors proposed alternatives to the suspension of Mr Hygate during the P&R meeting, held on October the 30th.

In the private part of the meeting, after the public and press were asked to leave, Cllr Fred Ticehurst wanted to start a, “process of conciliation…with the intention of improving the understanding and relationship between the Chairman of Council and the Chief Executive.”

Christine Savill backed that suggestion, but the proposal was defeated when members voted on it.

The next option, to suspend and investigate Mr Hygate’s conduct, was supported by Cllrs McCarthy, Mumford, Martin, Pearson, C Thomas and O’Neill. Cllrs Christine Savill and Fred Ticehurst voted against it.

Mr Hygate denies the allegations about him.

Council Chairman, Mike Hicks told us that he expected the investigation process to last between 6 and 8 weeks, but should a judicial review be pursued and granted, it could take significantly longer to bring this matter to a conclusion.


7 Responses to Judicial Review Could Be Sought Over Chief Exec’s Suspension

  1. CONCERNED ISLANDER November 18, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    WELL if the community wants CHANGES IN THE COUNCIL.
    ITS no good waiting till next may …. YOU NEED TO START NOW

  2. Chas Townley November 14, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Apologies for interfering from a distance in a little local difficulty.

    The question whether the Policy and Resources Committee had the power to suspend him depends on the powers delegated by the Council to the Committee.

    The terms of reference agreed by the Council in May this year include “Full responsibility for all matters affecting the Council’s role as an employer with the exception of in-service teacher training.”

    I’m not a lawyer but I’d say that was wide enough to include suspending the Chief Executive

  3. Todd Stevens November 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I think its Just an attempt to get full council to debate the suspension- and hopefully get the investigation overturned. They smply answer his letter with a- NO!

    A leg to stand on?- seemingly finding them a bit thin on the ground me thinks!

  4. Nobby Nobbs November 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Why is it that a small group of 5 councillors can vote through a 22% pay rise on the qt and that’s all right but when a committee comprising half the council vote 8/2 to suspend the chief executive, then for some reason that becomes “not following due process”. The word hypocrisy springs to mind.

    It’s funny how its always off islanders that support Mr Hygate.

    As to the applying for a judicial review over his suspension, good luck with that one, Like Stavrolpol says, if he wants to wast his money that’s up to him.

  5. Stavropol November 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    This decision of Mr Hygate, poses more questions and perhaps reflects further on his character.
    It would appear by making this move, Mr. Hygate does not want an investigation into his conduct to be carried out. Why?

    I am a reasonable law abiding person, now if my employer suspended me, on full pay for two months, saying they wanted to investigate my performance and integrity in my job, I would say, whoopee, thanks, I’m off to the Caribbean for a nice break (I earn over 100k a year so money is no problem), go for it, I’ll be back when the independent investigator obviously finds nothing wrong.

    What is this going to achieve other than preventing an independent investigation? Obviously the brave councillors involved took their decision given sound legal advice and have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately as Mr. Hygate’s legal bills increase, so does the Councils. Who has the deeper pockets?

    If it were me I would say to myself, I’ve had a good run, I’ll quit while I’m ahead, and save myself some money.

    • Adam Morton,St.Martins November 14, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      Good point! why would somone with nothing to fear ,challenge a technicality,esp if he has the councils intereststs at heart? I mean other than to lose money for one possibly both parties,what will it achieve? Ultimatly he is answerable to the councilors whatever commitee they are on.Challenging its authority does nothing to clear his name or anything other than prelong proceedings.

  6. Stavropol November 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Keep it coming, Mr Hygate’s legal bills are getting larger by the minute!
    Should integrity be a part of the equation, walking would be an honor. And save paying lawyers lots of money.