Suffolk: The curious saga of Andrea Hill snaps takes another twist

IPSWICH/SUFFOLK: Suffolk County Council today admitted it made another error in the case of a portfolio of photographs taken of chief executive Andrea Hill.

The Evening Star yesterday revealed that the authority’s own information showed that a bill of �1,474.74p was paid to Bedford-based Robert Johns for “Andrea Hill photos”.

However, a spokesman last night said details included in a response to a Star Freedom of Information (FoI) request has been “misleading”.

Yesterday, we told how it took FOUR FoIs – and an apology from the council – before we received the full details of the payment to Mr Johns.

Our probe found that Mr Johns had been paid �9,181.24 – a figure which included the �1,474.74p which was labelled “Andrea Hill photos”.

But the saga took another twist today after a council spokesman said the commission had also included pictures of 14 councillors and of a seminar.

The spokesman said: “It is true to say that the figure of �1,474.74p for photography supplied in a recent FoI request was assigned to the name of the chief executive.

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“Unfortunately and on reflection, that was misleading. The actual invoice supplied by the photographer shows that �1,474.74p was the total figure charged for two separate pieces of work on June 25 and July 3.

“The work also included portraits of 14 councillors, the election of the chair and vice chair of the council and coverage of a community seminar.

“It is entirely wrong to suggest that �1,474.74 was spent solely on photographs of Andrea Hill.”

The spokesman’s comments come after the council yesterday claimed it had made “every effort” to provide “as much information as possible”.

The photographs of Mrs Hill – which show her posing inside the county’s Endeavour House HQ – first came to The Star’s attention in 2009 after they were supplied by the council to Star publisher Archant. Yesterday’s story revealed that between April and December last year the council spent �33,233 on photography.

- Mr Johns would like us to point out that the pictures of Andrea Hill were taken, and paid for, in 2009.

n What do you make of the saga? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail