‘Busi­ness as usual’ af­ter sus­pen­sion

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

CHESHIRE East Coun­cil has in­sisted it is busi­ness as usual fol­low­ing the sus­pen­sion of top boss Mike Suarez last week.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Mr Suarez was sus­pended from his £153,000 post on full pay while an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion is un­der­taken into con­cerns about of­fi­cer con­duct.

His deputy, Kath O’Dwyer, has been made act­ing chief exec and she will see her salary boosted by nearly £1,300 a month dur­ing Mr Suarez’ ab­sence.

Ms O’Dwyer said: “The leader of the coun­cil has asked me to cover the chief ex­ec­u­tive’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in Mike Suarez’s ab­sence. This brings an ad­di­tional salary cost of £1,291.83 per month.

“Cheshire East Coun­cil’s lead­er­ship team will en­sure that the coun­cil con­tin­ues to de­liver high qual­ity ser­vices for the res­i­dents of Cheshire East.”

The act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive in­sisted the sus­pen­sion of the chief ex­ec­u­tive would not im­pact on its de­vo­lu­tion talks. The coun­cil is look­ing at a de­vo­lu­tion deal with Cheshire West & Ch­ester and War­ring­ton Bor­ough coun­cils.

The item was orig­i­nally sched­uled to be dis­cussed at last Tues­day’s cab­i­net meet­ing - the day Mr Suarez was sus­pended - but was not on the agenda.

Ms O’Dwyer said: “The de­ci­sion to move cab­i­net’s con­sid­er­a­tion of de­vo­lu­tion from April’s cab­i­net agenda to May’s cab­i­net agenda is not re­lated to the work of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee.

“Cheshire East Coun­cil con­tin­ues to work with part­ners to­wards de­vel­op­ing a de­vo­lu­tion deal that of­fers the best pos­si­ble deal for our res­i­dents. The sus­pen­sion of the chief ex­ec­u­tive will not im­pact on this work.”

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