Monday, 23 November 2009

Chief Executive Leaves Amid Growing Crisis at West Lindsey District Council

Update to Investigations Stall at West Lindsey as Liberal Democrat 'Fudge' PrevailsLiberal Democrats Frustrate Investigations at West Lindsey and Fraud Inquiry at West Lindsey..

The Lincolnshire Echo is today reporting that it could be the middle of next year before a successor is appointed to replace West Lindsey District Council's chief executive. Although it was confirmed during last week that Mr. Duncan Sharkey is leaving his post at West Lindsey District Council after nearly five years.

He is expected to remain in post until March 2010 when he will move to become Worcester City Council's managing director. There is some speculation that in the interim he could be temporarily replaced by his deputy Mr. Daren Turner.

A search for a permanent successor will not take place until a review of senior management at the authority has been completed. The Liberal Democrat leadership has raised concerns that two of the three councillors given the task of carrying this out include Leader of the Council, Cllr. Bernard Theobald, Conservative (Wold View Ward) and his deputy Cllr. Adam Duguid, Conservative (Market Rasen Ward).

Cllr. Duguid caused controversy at last week's extraordinary meeting of the council after admitting he had met a officer from the planning department suspended as part of an on-going fraud investigation.

Further Cllr. Theobald refused to confirm or deny whether he was also present and labelled the claims from opposition leader Cllr. Reg Shore, Liberal Democrat Group Leader (Stow Ward), to be
"vague accusations".
But Cllr. Theobald is reported to have said there should be no worries about the involvement of himself or his deputy in the review and their sole aim was to secure best value for taxpayers' cash.

The Liberal Democrats would be required to put forward a member for the senior management review but Cllr. Shore said this would not happen until changes took place. The leader of the opposition described the process as giving him 'serious concerns'.

A reporter at the Lincolnshire Echo has also been fishing for comment on Cllr. Theobald's leadership of the Conservative Group and the Council. A West Lindsey District Council Conservative Group Meeting may be held as early as this week.

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