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ANGLESEY CHIEF AIMS TO STAY DESPITE OUTCRY

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Isle of Anglesey CC chief executive Leon Gibson has said he wants to continue in post until 2000 despite a public c...
Isle of Anglesey CC chief executive Leon Gibson has said he wants to continue in post until 2000 despite a public campaign for his removal and a disciplinary investigation into his conduct.

Mr Gibson has been chief executive of Anglesey or its predecessor council for 20 years. He was one of several officers named directly in a highly critical district audit report into the council published last month (LGC, 24 April).

'Like every other person who is in employment there comes a time to retire,' he said in a public statement last week in answer to calls for his resignation. 'Subject to the approval of the council, it has always been my intention to consider retirement around the year 2000.'

At a full council meeting last week it was agreed seven councillors who had been named or identified by post in the audit report be asked to resign as committee chairmen or vice-chairmen and hand in any office keys.

The unanimous decision was greeted with applause by 200 members of the public attending the meeting and another 100 outside, members of a local 'Voice of the People' campaign set up following publication of the audit report.

Dylan Morgan, a campaign organiser, said what began as an impromptu response had hardened into a campaign to remove three senior officers: Mr Gibson, director of public protection Dafydd Jones and director of housing John Jones.

John Jones appeared in Manchester Crown Court this week to be charged with nine offences, four relating to misuse of public office, two of attempts to pervert the course of justice and three of witness intimidation.

Both Mr Gibson and Dafydd Jones were criticised for accepting hospitality from refuse collection contractor Ecovert, a matter which is also the subject of a police investigation.

Mr Morgan also said residents who had signed a petition pledging to withhold council tax until everyone named in the report and their supporters go already numbered 'in the thousands.'

Councillors named or identified in the report have all been asked to resign. They include Gareth Winston-Roberts, who recently stepped down as Independent leader of the council but is still chairman of economic development; John Smith, the 83-year-old chair of personnel, and his vice-chairman Gwyn Roberts; and John Chalton and John Parry, chairman and vice-chairman of housing respectively.

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