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Suspended leader orders review into chief's recruitment

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An independent review into the recruitment of Slough BC’s chief executive and senior officers has been ordered by the council’s leader despite the fact he is still suspended by his own party.

The review ordered by Sohail Munawar comes amid political uncertainty within the ruling Labour group.

Gravitas Consultancy, which is carrying out the review, will also look at the council’s whistleblowing policy.

LGC reported last week how Slough’s deputy leader Sabia Hussain was sacked by Cllr Munawar after she had raised objections to the proposed appointment of Roger Parkin as chief executive.

Cllr Munawar was subsequently suspended by the Labour party but he remained leader of the council. LGC understands that situation still remains.

Cllr Munawar thanked those who are “supporting me as leader” and said: “It is unfortunate political differences, personalities and opinions have damaged the reputation of the organisation we all hold dear and I have decided, in the interests of the council, our residents and businesses we should have an independent review of our most critical and urgent business.”

The proposed appointment of Mr Parkin as chief executive, who took on the top job after Ruth Bagley departed last year, is expected to be discussed at the next full council meeting on 28 November.

Cllr Munawar said Slough had “an excellent senior leadership team led by the interim chief executive” but added: “But these political wranglings only serve to bring our wonderful borough down, cause a difficult working environment and invite doubt in our abilities and those of our wonderful hard-working communities.

“I have listened to all the concerns raised and reflected on them and I believe this review is what we need.

“It will be entirely independent, will review and offer recommendations which should answer all the issues people have raised, all their concerns once and for all, meaning we can continue to drive forward with our vision for the town.”

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