Tuesday, 27 July 2010

£78,750 was best value for money for getting rid of former director says Council Leader

Finally, Cornwall Council Leader Alec Robertson has gone on the record with a comment about the departure of Peter Lewis, the former Corporate Support Director who left with a £78,750 pay off.

Until now, all we have heard from the Council has been that they won't comment because of a confidentiality agreement. Although we still haven't got much further on the details, at today's council meeting Alec Robertson responded to my question by saying that the deal represented the best value for money in the circumstances.

This fails to answer the key question of why the Council agreed to a settlement of any size given that Mr Lewis was not with the Council for long enough to be able to take us to an industrial tribunal.

However, it is becoming clearer and clearer that Mr Lewis did not leave of his own accord - despite the clear impression given by Chief Executive Kevin Lavery at the time.

Even though Cllr Robertson has been more open than before, there are still many questions left unanswered about the spending of public money. This may well be a matter that the Audit Commission will want to investigate.

1 comment:

John said...

I see the West Briton has picked this up in their leader comment. Peter Lewis was the Chief Finance Officer and I am told this means that even if he could not claim unfair dismissal he may have had some sort of statutory protection against dismissal. It may be he could not have been dismissed unless a procedure was followed involving an independent person reporting to a Committee of Councillors. I gather this legal provision is designed to ensure Chief Finance Officers can give advice, even if unwelcome, without fear of adverse consequences. Did the Council pay him off to avoid going through this procedure and ensure councillors did not have a say? Who wanted him out and why?