Chief banned for FOURTH speeding offence

ONE of Suffolk's top officials is today getting used to letting the bus and train take the strain after being banned from the road for four speeding offences.

Paul Geater

ONE of Suffolk's top officials is today getting used to letting the bus and train take the strain after being banned from the road for four speeding offences.

And he could be saving money into the bargain - as he is over 60 he is entitled to free bus transport!

Suffolk County Council's head of adult and community services Graham Gatehouse was banned for six months by Sudbury magistrates.

He was banned after getting 12 pen-

alty points in three years from courts across the country - speeding offences attract three points as well as a fine.

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However, officials at the county council insisted he would be getting no special treatment during his ban and he is having to use public transport to and from work at Endeavour House in Russell Road, Ipswich.

A spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that Graham Gatehouse has lost his driving licence.

“If attending a meeting with

colleagues, Graham will share a lift, which we encourage all staff to do on the grounds of cost and in our bid to be the greenest county. “If travelling to a meeting alone he will use public transport”.

She said there was no question of asking other colleagues to chauffeur Mr Gatehouse to meetings if they did not need to attend themselves.

Mr Gatehouse has been running adult and community services in Suffolk since the end of 2004 when the department was set up.

His responsibilities include social services provision for adults, day care centres, library services, and other community-based county council functions.

He arrived at Suffolk as a specialist on a short-term basis when the department was being set up and was then appointed to the post full time - a post which attracts a salary in the band between £96,000 and £106,000.

Earlier that year he had retired after five years as executive director of social services at Barnsley Metropolitan Council.

Mr Gatehouse lives on the Shotley peninsula and has told colleagues that he has been impressed by the bus services from the area to Ipswich. His ban is due to expire in July.

A spokeswoman for Brake, the charity which campaigns for road safety, said anyone who broke speed limits put other road users at risk.

She said: “We would like to see a position where there is no opportunity for people to commit four speeding offences before they are banned. There should be higher fines and people should get six penalty points for a speeding offence.

“Until the penalties are higher, people will continue to put themselves and other people at risk by breaking the law in this way.”

Has Mr Gatehouse set a bad example to other motorists? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or

e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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