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LABOUR IN 'ATROCIOUS' ROW OVER HULL CHIEF

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The chief executive at Kingston-upon-Hull City Council has been warned by the Labour opposition that his job will b...
The chief executive at Kingston-upon-Hull City Council has been warned by the Labour opposition that his job will be on the line if the party wins back the council at next year's elections.

Four months after an Audit Commission report found evidence that some officers had been bullied by members (LGC, 2 August), chief executive Jim Brooks received a letter from Labour group leader Colin Inglis telling him that if Labour returns to power there will be an immediate review of the council's senior management structure.

The letter said the review will look not just at the structure but also the at the competence of each individual senior officer, including the chief executive.

Now the controlling Liberal Democrat group, which gained power in May, has voted to put the matter before the council's standards committee and the Standards Board for England.

Leader Simone Butterworth said Mr Inglis' actions were 'absolutely atrocious'. She said: 'He is still part of the old culture that believes in bullying and threatening and that cannot go on.'

Mr Brooks was appointed this year under the former Labour regime, which was severely criticised by the Audit Commission for its running of the council.

He said: 'There is an administration and it's not up to me to decide if it is right or wrong. My job is to follow policy, not to get involved in this sort of political row.

'This is just an attempt to politicise things, when they should be more properly addressed to the leader of the council.'

The Labour group is already refusing to take part in the appointment of five new£100,000-a-year corporate directors and there is concern within the council this latest move by Mr Inglis will make it harder to recruit for the posts.

Mr Inglis said: 'The Liberal Democrat coalition is putting a new management structure in place and what we have said is if we regain power we will review that structure.

'It is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, but we have been accused of bullying and threatening which is not the case.'

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