A SENIOR member of staff from Cheshire East Council has been suspended from work pending further action by the Lyme Green staffing sub-committee.

The suspension follows a meeting of the committee last week, which was set up in the wake of the council wasting £800,000 on a recycling plant near Macclesfield that they did not have planning permission for.

Sub-committee chairman, clr Howard Murray, said he wished to make it ‘crystal clear’ that the act of suspension is considered by the Council to be a neutral act intended to protect all parties.

One of the committee’s duties is to consider the recommendations made in an investigation report by a Designated Independent Person (DIP).

Councillor Murray went on to say: “I realise than many people are now demanding to have sight of the report by the DIP. I understand their interest.

“However, a report by a DIP is specifically exempt from Freedom of Information requests and there are other legal requirements that severely limit its distribution.

“I cannot say the report will never be made available, which is for others to decide, but any form of release at this time would at the least be very unhelpful and may well jeopardise the legal process we are following.”

He added: “It should by now be clear to most people that the sub-committee has been diligent, fair and effective in the handling of this task.

“If the time, effort and expense of getting to this point is not to be wasted then the sub-committee must be allowed to conclude its work – and this includes the exhaustion of any related appeals, unhindered and without distraction.”