Council's Investigation and Disciplinary Committee to rack up costs of £720,000 this year


Further to my article regarding the cost of external investigations being carried into the conduct of suspended officers an Independent councillor has been in touch to state that the financial cost to tax payers is far higher than has been suggested in the Council's response to my Freedom of Information Request.

Councillor Toni Fox, who represents the Dean Row Ward, said "Following a question raised by an Independent councillor at the Full Council meeting held in December Cheshire East Council members have subsequently been advised of the current costs associated with the work of the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee (IDC)."

An email distributed to members by Cllr Paul Bates, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Communications, read "The IDC is being supported by external investigators and temporary staffing arrangements which, up to November 2017, had cost £110,000.

"In addition, as suspensions have occurred, it has been important to minimise the potential for these neutral acts to impact on service delivery and to ensure that the organisation also continues to meet its statutory responsibilities. As we have said before, suspension is a neutral act and we have a legal responsibility to continue to pay officers suspended while investigations are completed. Up to November 2017, the costs of acting up arrangements had therefore cost £346,000.

"The total cost to the end of November is therefore £456,000.

"The estimated costs to the end of 2017/18, which reflect the resignation of the Director of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer, are anticipated to be in the region of £720,000."

Cheshire East Council


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

Mark Russell
Friday 19th January 2018 at 7:59 am
When oh when is something going to be done about the total incompetence in this council??? Can you imagine a private sector company spending this much on investigations and suspensions?? Of course not, so why are these baffoons allowed to waste our money with impunity?? Where i work, you get suspended, investigation is done with in 2 weeks and action is taken there. Why does it take the council months if not years, and then add all the cost involved? Its absolutely criminal the money these lot waste, and this will be the tip of the iceberg!!!!
Julian Barlow
Friday 19th January 2018 at 8:00 am
It's about time CEC issued us all with a copy of the dictionary that they're using so we can all understand how suspending someone, subject to the outcome of an investigation, is a neutral act.

As far as the public are concerned, when CEC talk about a "neutral act" They really mean "we smell a rat but don't want to say so as it will show us up to be the incompetent clowns we are."
Pete Taylor
Friday 19th January 2018 at 8:39 am
Surely this proves, beyond doubt, that CEC are not fit for purpose and should be put into Special Measures.
Alan Brough
Friday 19th January 2018 at 12:04 pm
This would appear to be a good time for our local Councillors to arrange a public meeting so that they can explain to us what is going on and what is being done to stop this extraordinary waste of OUR money at a time when OUR services are being subjected to swingeing cuts.
Nick Jones
Friday 19th January 2018 at 1:50 pm
@ Alan an excellent simple solution ! So that wont happen !.

This is CEC , they have just employed an spin doctor agency , sorry communication and marketing specialist from Lancashire ‘JGM’ at a cost of £945,000 ( Plus the VAT of course ) to do their bidding at our expense…

One again Cllr Sam Corcoran adding some common sense “It’s a very sad reflection of the state of the council in Cheshire East at the moment that the Conservative-controlled council are having to call in specialists in re-branding…I would prefer this money to be spent on delivering council services rather than a re-branding exercise “ If only CEC told the truth, did what its electorate wanted then there would be no such requirement for spin doctors to hide behind.. The deafening silence of our CEC W4 Cllrs is already noted.
Buster Wild
Saturday 20th January 2018 at 7:21 pm
It's about time somebody asked Esther McVey (our MP) to find someone to sort this mess out. The longer it goes on the more that people are thinking that there is a cover up about corruption. Not that I am accusing anybody, just that it's best to clear the air. I don't want to see any of our fabulous, hard working, totally dedicated councillors being taken to court when they are truly innocent of being so incompetent.
Barry Stafford
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 4:20 pm
To top it all. want to bet our Council Tax goes up by the max..6% in April?? For many years CEC seem to pay off so many top dogs.WHY?? Baz
Julie Smith
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 7:33 pm
I would like to know who is costing us £720,000? The Investigation and Disciplinary Comittee is made up of council employees who are remunerated by CeC and we already pay for the police investigation through our council tax. Where is the £720,000 going?
Janet Taylor
Friday 26th January 2018 at 11:53 am
Perhaps you should ask your local CEC Councillor Julie Lowe, one is a member of this extremely expensive Investigation and Disciplinary Committee I believe.