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Mystery over suspension of Norwich city councillor

08:37 10 September 2012

Norwich City Council councillor Deborah Gihawi.Photo: Steve Adams

Norwich City Council councillor Deborah Gihawi.Photo: Steve Adams

A member of Norwich City Council’s controlling Labour group has been temporarily suspended from her cabinet duties, but council bosses have refused to elaborate on the reason why.

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Deborah Gihawi, below, who represents Mile Cross, has been prevented from carrying out her duties as cabinet member for play areas and open spaces because of the suspension.

But City Hall bosses were tight-lipped on the reasons why the mother-of-two, who lives in Eade Road, has been suspended.

The authority would not even confirm that it was Mrs Gihawi who has been suspended, although other sources have indicated she is the cabinet member involved.

A spokesman for Norwich City Council would only say: “A portfolio holder has been temporarily suspended from their portfolio responsibilities. It would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

As well as refusing to give a reason for the suspension, the council would not be drawn on why the suspension only applied to her cabinet duties, why it was temporary and when it might come to an end, or whether an investigation was under way.

Qualified social worker Mrs Gihawi became manager of the central Norwich YMCA’s John Drake House at the city’s Surrey Street bus station when it opened in 2009.

The centre was set up to give young people a safe and comfortable environment while they are assessed and allocated housing and professional support.

Mrs Gihawi, who was first elected to the city council in 2008, comfortably held onto her Mile Cross seat in this May’s elections, garnering 1,019 votes, well ahead of second placed Green candidate Richard Edwards.

Mrs Gihawi told the Norwich Evening News she did not want to comment.

Do you have a story about a local council? Call Norwich Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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