We’re NOT going to comment on recent rumours that the borough council’s CEO has been suspended, or that she is taking ‘special leave’. Instead, here’s the council’s official statement:
“We would like to confirm that this is not the case.
“The Council’s Chief Executive is currently on a period of leave. Any queries regarding the business of the Council should in the first instance be directed to the Council’s interim Deputy Chief Executive, Tim Pashen.”
That seems quite clear – for now. But we wonder about the ‘interim Deputy Chief Executive’. As we understood that Mr Pashen was made Deputy Chief Executive a while ago, why is he described as ‘interim’? Where is he going next?? Or is it just careless writing?
Meanwhile, we’re still plugging away. You’ll remember that perhaps a couple of months ago we submitted a Freedom of Information enquiry about council procedures for awarding pay rises to the CEO. The reply that we received some weeks later was, in our view, completely inadequate. So we’ve requested an internal review of how the council handled our enquiry. Ten days or so ago we received this response from the interim Head of Legal:
“Thank you for your letter/email dated 22 September requesting an internal review.
We will endeavour to respond within 20 working days. However, if the review is complex or requires wider than usual consultation, it may be necessary to extend this deadline by another 20 working days. If this is the case, and your review cannot be completed in the shorter time frame, we will inform you of this. If you have any queries about this letter, please do not hesitate to contact me.
It would be helpful if you would quote the reference number in the Subject line in any future correspondence.
We see no reason why the outcome of the review should be anything less than satisfactory. However, if it does turn out to be insufficient, we will, almost inevitably, take the matter further.