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An LGC exclusive ...
An LGC exclusive

Kingston upon Hull City Council will be dealt a fresh blow next week when it is told it has failed to make any significant improvements since last year's damning corporate governance report.

The results of Hull's corporate governance re-inspection have been a closely guarded secret since Audit Commission inspectors entered the council in June to assess the progress made by the struggling council.

But sources close to the report say there will be little cause for celebration.

The re-inspection is expected to focus on the Labour administration, but will

criticise the conduct of all councillors since the last report.

'No one comes out of it covered with glory,' said one source.

'There has been very little improvement since the previous inspection. The council has failed to grasp the challenges that faced it.'

'It's not going to be good news,' said another. 'It will be critical of the whole administration.'

It will not refer directly to the relationship between suspended chief executive Jim Brooks and leader Colin Inglis (Lab), the source added, instead commenting on the impact it had on the council.

A third source said the report will point to an absence of clear political leadership and suggest external bodies lack confidence in Hull's political management.

Mr Brooks was suspended in June over his alleged involvement in the leaking of last year's corporate governance report.

There had been speculation that publication of the new report was delayed to maximise the likelihood of a pay-off deal being struck with Mr Brooks (LGC, 17 October). However, talks between Hull and Mr Brooks have reached a stalemate.

Hull refused to comment on the corporate governance re-inspection but a spokesman said the council's officer employment panel will meet in the next week to discuss Mr Brooks' case.

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