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South Ribble Borough Council chief executive ‘suspended’ along with two fellow officers

Posted on - 24th May, 2019 - 8:45am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Penwortham, Politics, Preston News
South Ribble Borough Council chief executive Heather McManus
South Ribble Borough Council chief executive Heather McManus

Three senior officers at South Ribble Borough Council have been ‘suspended’.

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BBC Lancashire political reporter Mike Stevens tweeted during Thursday (23 May) the local authority had placed its chief executive and her two deputies on special leave.

The borough council moved into Labour control following the local elections in early May.

Chief executive Heather McManus, Tim Povall who is responsible for resources and services and fellow deputy Gregg Stott who is responsible for regeneration and growth have all been placed on ‘special leave’.

Chief executive of neighbouring council Chorley, Gary Hall, has been placed in command in the role of head of paid service. The two councils already share a lot of services.

Staff at South Ribble were informed by email on Thursday about the three senior officers being suspended.

Read more: Ward-by-ward local election results for South Ribble

Paul Faulkner, Local Democracy Reporter for Lancashire, said South Ribble was ‘liaising with the Local Government Association and others over a number of ongoing legacy issues’.

The Leader of the Council councillor Paul Foster confirmed that interim arrangements are in place to ensure the continued seamless running of the Council.

He said: “I can additionally confirm that Gary Hall, the Chief Executive at Chorley Council, has agreed to act as Interim Head of Paid Service with immediate effect.

“Gary will supplement capacity at a senior level during the period of absence, ensuring we continue to offer excellent services for our residents.

“Gary is familiar with us here at South Ribble and he will start working with us with straight away.”

A spokeswoman for the borough council confirmed with regards to the European Elections: “Jo Bentham, Local Deputy Returning Officer is acting with full powers for the current European Election.

“Moving forward during the period of absence, Gary Hall, Interim Chief Executive will act as Returning Officer.”

Heather McManus was appointed in May 2017 to replace interim chief executive Jean Hunter.

She has held roles at Lancashire County Council, West Lancs District Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council, Lancaster City Council – where she was deputy chief executive – and Cheshire East Council.

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