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Suffolk probe due next week  

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Suffolk CC is bracing itself for the conclusions of an independent probe into the “anonymous complaints” that resulted in chief executive Andrea Hill being placed on gardening leave.

Law firm Wragge & Co has carried out the review and is expected to hand a preliminary report to the council in the coming days.

The council did not confirm when the report will be handed to its leadership but sources familiar with the probe said it was expected “in the next week”.

The findings of the report could play a decisive role in the future of Ms Hill at the council who was placed on gardening leave by the authority earlier this month to allow the unspecified complaints to be investigated “independently”.  

Ms Hill has been unequivocally backed by the Association of Local Authority Chief Executives which lauded her as a “first class chief executive”.

The news follows a turbulent period as the council attempts to roll out a radical transformation programme, the New Strategic Direction, of which Ms Hill is a key architect.

The programme, which sparked fury from unions and opposition members, has since been placed under review.

Councillors have raised concerns to LGC about staff morale and there have been reports of a backbench rebellion in the ruling Conservative group.

The council announced a probe into staff welfare in its legal department following the death of the council’s acting head of legal services, David White in April (18 April, LGCplus.com).

Mark Bee (Con), the council’s leader-elect, announced he planned to “reflect on and review” the council’s transformation plans in April.

A Suffolk spokeswoman said: “The preliminary review is being carried out by Wragge & Co. They have advised us not to comment any further.”

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