Scilly Council Refuses To Reveal Chief Exec Payout Sum

philip hygate P&R meeting 2The Council of the Isles of Scilly has refused to disclose further details of the leaving package paid to outgoing chief executive, Philip Hygate.

Mr Hygate announced his early retirement on January 10th, ten weeks after being suspended from his role. He is expected to leave the islands on April 2nd.

Under a Freedom of Information request submitted two weeks ago, Radio Scilly asked for details of all payments made to Mr Hygate as part of his leaving package.

At first, the Council refused to even acknowledge the request.

But yesterday, after two further email requests, a spokesman for the Council said that information on final salary and allowances was being withheld as they intend to publish this in the Council’s accounts at a future date.

And information on any one-off lump sum payments to Mr Hygate’s pension fund was withheld because this was considered confidential.

The Freedom of Information Act allows public bodies to withhold information if they intend to publish it at a future date. However, this can be waived if disclosing the information is considered to be in the public interest.

Radio Scilly has asked for an internal review of the request, as we believe this information should be made public.

8 Responses to Scilly Council Refuses To Reveal Chief Exec Payout Sum

  1. Nobby Nobbs February 28, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Local government can be summed up in two words “secretive incompetence”

  2. Mark Prebble February 28, 2013 at 7:31 am

    It seems that agreement is in the air over the issue of financial accountability. Surely the people of Scilly have a right to know what is being spent on their behalf.
    The auditor’s report into financial irregularities at the school remains unpublished at a cost of just under £40,000 with the council picking up an undisclosed portion of this. The airport under the council’s management has failed to put aside monies for reinvestment and we are still waiting to enjoy the benefits of who knows how much money spent on rebuilding Porthcressa.

  3. Nobby Nobbs February 27, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Nobby’s comment re senior council officers got moderated 🙁
    but it was along the lines of incompetence and secrecy

  4. yet another islander February 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Well said Kev, for once we’re in agreement. Those few councillors who brokered this deal on our behalf should show us just where the money went and whose advice they followed to reach the agreement……don’t quite know who you mean by the top brass but I guess you’re referring to the elected members who took the decisions? Who ever, what ever publish that and the report on a previous headmaster, we’ve should be seeing these things.

    • Kev Wright February 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      By top brass I was referring to the non elected, highly paid council officers. Some elected members may want these details kept hidden too I’m sure, but others won’t.

  5. Steve Raven February 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    That’s shameful. “It’ll be published in the future account” – which accounts and on what specific date?

  6. Geoff Barter February 27, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Almost certainly a legally binding compromise agreement will have been signed effectively gagging both parties from discussing details .

  7. Kev Wright February 27, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Well done Radio Scilly. As this is our money I think we have every right to know how much it is! I was hoping our council was starting to become more transparent and have been impressed with the work done by certain councillors recently, but as for the top brass… well, same old story isn’t it.