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MORRIS'S FUTURE UNCERTAIN AFTER CPA DISAPPOINTMENT

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Northampton BC chief executive Roger Morris is understood to be preparing to depart after Audit Commission inspecto...
Northampton BC chief executive Roger Morris is understood to be preparing to depart after Audit Commission inspectors rated the council as 'poor'.

It has been reported locally that Mr Morris is in negotiations with the council over a deal under which he would leave.

Northampton's response said only: 'The council has a policy that an individual's employment details are a matter between the council and the individual, irrespective of who that individual might be.'

Mr Morris has been in post for 18 years and is a former president of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives & Senior Managers.

The council has appealed against its comprehensive performance assessment rating and the final report is due out on 4 March.

It did not say what the rating was, but one person close to the council said: 'No-one expects it to say anything other than 'poor'.'

Political control changed last May when a Labour administration was displaced by a minority Tory one. The council has imposed a 4.9% council tax increase after grappling with financial difficulties.

Tim Hadland (Con), cabinet member for financial strategy, said when introducing his budget proposal: 'When we took over the administration, the financial forecast for 2004-05 was based on a 6.2% increase in council tax, a 1.5% increase in government support, and a£1.7m spending gap.

'The government settlement means we have to find nearly£140,000 ourselves.'

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