Opposition: process shrouded in secrecy

A VEIL of secrecy shrouded the process behind the appointment of Suffolk's new chief executive, critics said today.Julian Swainson, leader of the Labour group and a member of the appointment panel, said he felt the process should have been more transparent.

A VEIL of secrecy shrouded the process behind the appointment of Suffolk's new chief executive, critics said today.

Julian Swainson, leader of the Labour group and a member of the appointment panel, said he felt the process should have been more transparent.

He said: “This is the first time I have known there to be a lack of consensus over the appointment of a chief executive.

“No mention of salary was made in any recruitment material, the word 'negotiable' was used.

“That is a word to start a bidding war and that is what we have seen.

“The whole thing has been so confidential.

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“This is the most secretive process I have ever come across.

“I can't tell you who was short-listed and who wasn't, or any details on salary demands or notice periods.

“I can't tell you about the body language of my fellow interviewers on the panel that day although I would really like to.”

Council leader Jeremy Pembroke criticised his political opponents for comments made in the run-up to the debate.

He said: “It is extremely disappointing that while we are engaged in the serious work of building a strong future for the county, Labour are engaged in the worst kind of hypocrisy and deceit.

“To attempt to deceive the people of Suffolk in this way is unforgivable.”