Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Scrutiny process "ripped up" on Leicestershire's fire authority

Mike Charlesworth, the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Leicestershire's fire authority, has written a letter of complaint about the way the authority is being run to its monitoring officer.

The complaint, reports the Leicester Mercury, follows the departure of the county's chief fire officer after just over a year in the job with an £84,000 pay off.

This move was not discussed with the Lib Dem group, which holds the balance of power with the authority. It would probably have remained secret if the Mercury had not revealed it.

There is a widespread perception that the fire authority has been carved up between Sir Peter Soulsby, the Labour mayor of Leicester, and Nick Rushton, the Conservative leader of the county council.

As Mike Charlesworth told the Mercury:
Rushton and Soulsby are running what ought to be a democratic body as a two man show. 
"We appreciate there will be employment issues involved with Richard Chandler leaving, but as a courtesy at the very least we should have been told about this so we could raise any concerns. 
"There are so many questions about this that need answering. 
"We don't know what settlement package has been agreed with the chief fire officer, whether it is justified. 
"They've just ripped up the scrutiny process. 
"They are making major decisions effecting public services as if it was some private club."
The paper also quotes Rushton's reply, which does not seem overconcerned with democratic oversight of the authority's decisions..

Meanwhile the people of Leicestershire wait avidly for news of the police investigation into the hacking of Nick Rushton's Twitter account.

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