Member of Investigation and Disciplinary Committee steps down whilst his actions are investigated


The Chairman of the Cheshire Police and Crime Panel, who also sits on the authority's Investigation and Disciplinary Committee has been asked to step down from his committee duties.

Cheshire East Council has confirmed that they have received information which raises concerns about actions taken by Councillor Howard Murray whilst serving on the authority's Investigation and Disciplinary Committee (IDC).

As a result, further investigations will need to be undertaken. In the meantime, Cllr Murray - Conservative ward councillor for Poynton East and Pott Shrigley - has been asked to step down from the committees.

A council spokesperson said: "This is a neutral act, intended to protect Cllr Murray and the council from concerns of a similar nature arising whilst the matter is considered further.

"The council is considering very carefully whether this matter is capable of having any adverse impact on the work undertaken by the committees to date. Early indications are that the work of the committees to date is not affected by the concerns raised.

"Cllr Margaret Simon, vice-chairman of the IDC, will act as IDC chairman on an interim basis while these matters are resolved."

Cheshire East Council's investigation and disciplinary committee has been carrying out investigations into allegations relating to the conduct of several senior officers.

Chief Executive Michael Suarez has been suspended since April 2017 and Chief Operating Officer Peter Bates was suspended in December 2017, following a meeting of Cheshire East Council's investigation and disciplinary committee.

The council's Director of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer, Bill Norman resigned in December 2017 with immediate effect. Mr Norman had been suspended since July - while an investigation into allegations relating to his conduct were undertaken.

Additionally, four other officers within the organisation are currently suspended, to enable investigations into allegations in respect of their conduct to be undertaken.

During the past three years 30 officers in total have been suspended from Cheshire East Council, of these 18 are no longer employed by Cheshire East Council.

Their reasons for leaving were : 8 resigned, 4 disciplinary, 1 had their contract terminated, 1 took normal retirement, 1 had a TUPE transfer, there was 1 mutual termination and 2 left as a result of gross misconduct.

Cheshire East Council, Howard Murray


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Julian Barlow
Wednesday 11th April 2018 at 2:28 pm
So there’s now an investigation into one of the investigators of another investigation. The only way that Cheshire East demonstrate any imagination or creativity is when they’re coming up with new ways to squander our money. It’s little wonder they have such a diabolical reputation, with all the investigations going on there can be little time left to deal with the big issues of public concern .

For anyone outside of the fairy tale land that is CEC HQ, suspending a member of staff is clearly not a neutral act and it’s an insult to our intelligence to suggest otherwise.
Mark Russell
Wednesday 11th April 2018 at 3:30 pm
MMmmmmmm, i wonder if he was trying to protect his mates?? Surley its time to get external people in. And why is it taking so long? If i took this long at my job, id be out pronto!!
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 11th April 2018 at 3:56 pm
The secret redacted report into the costly Lyme Green fiasco seems to have developed a slight leak, or did I dream that? Can’t believe everything one reads about CEC on the interweb, because much of it just... unbelievable.

Time for Special Measures?
Barry Stafford
Wednesday 11th April 2018 at 4:59 pm
How much are we paying all these suspended people, usually called 'Garden Leave' or sickness leave,Why does it take months,to make a decision on misdemeanors?? In the private sector. You clear your desk and OUT!!! same day.Baz
Chris Wigley
Wednesday 11th April 2018 at 5:17 pm
I wonder if in Cheshire East if we are getting to the point of not having sufficient people to investigate and sit on disciplinary panels?
Roger Bagguley
Thursday 12th April 2018 at 10:01 am
I wonder if this has anything to do with Councillor Howard Murray's history of not always towing the Party Line? I was present when he loudly protested at the inept chairing of the Northern Planning Board. Long overdue I would say having attended these meetings on a number of occasions.