‘Business as usual’ after suspension
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.”