Director of Resources/Section 151 officer resigns.
On May 23rd 2016 members of Herefordshire Council were informed by the Chief Executive that the director of resources, Peter Robinson, had been suspended pending independent enquiries that were deemed necessary. The chief executive emphasised the importance of maintaining confidentiality and discretion while the enquiries were ongoing. Failing to do this would be, he said, potentially damaging both to the individual concerned, and to the integrity of any subsequent investigation.
On Friday September 2nd 2016 the chief executive formally announced that Mr Robinson had resigned as Director of Resources (S151 Officer) and Hoople MD designate with immediate effect in order to resume his career in interim management.
We the undersigned wish to make it publicly known that we have never been fully briefed in confidence about this very serious matter. It is our understanding that the only people who have been involved in this investigation have been the chief executive, the leader of the council and the council’s monitoring officer – with support from outside investigators. It is our considered opinion that it should be the norm for the council’s employment panel to be involved in such a matter, or at the very least for the panel to be consulted before a final decision is taken.
Elected members are understandably concerned at this turn of events but we recognise we are constrained by law as to what we can say publicly in such circumstances.
We do however feel that now the officer has resigned, Opposition Group Leaders – as elected members’ representatives, should be allowed far more information. Otherwise the general impression will continue to be “it’s all going on behind closed doors again…… so much for transparency and accountability… nothing changes”
Cllr Jenny Bartlett
Cllr Terry James
Cllr Bob Matthews
Cllr Anthony Powers
Opposition Group Leaders on Herefordshire Council 5 September 2016