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HULL CHIEF EXECUTIVE SUSPENDED

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An urgent meeting of Kingston upon Hull City Council's member panel for ...
An urgent meeting of Kingston upon Hull City Council's member panel for

officer employment procedure rules took place today.

The panel considered a report issued by the Standards Board for England into

officer involvement in the publication of the confidential draft Corporate

Governance Inspection report in May 2002.

After full consideration, the member panel determined that a further

independent investigation should be carried out into the issues raised by

the report, in particular the alleged involvement of chief executive, Jim

Brooks.

The panel also decided that Mr Brooks should be suspended pending the

outcome of the investigation. This is a precautionary suspension only.

It would be inappropriate for the council to comment further.

STATEMENT FROM THE AUDIT COMMISSION

A spokeswoman said on Wednesday:

'The council is at a critical point and should avoid anything that deflects attention from recovery and improvement. The absence of a chief executive at a time when the new management team is only just in post, poses a risk that momentum and focus will be lost.

'The Audit Commission will shortly be following up its 2002 corporate governance inspection. That report raised serious concerns about the relationship between leading members and officers. In the light of those concerns, it will be essential that the council puts in place interim arrangements to cover for the absent chief executive via a robust and open process.'

* An open letter on the subject from Liberal Democrat opposition leader

Dave Woods to local government minister Nick Raynsford and LGA chair

Jeremy Beecham is available here.

* LGC background: LEGAL ISSUES MARK THE STORM AFTER THE CALM

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