No decision over Suffolk chief executive

A meeting about allegations against Suffolk County Council chief executive Andrea Hill came to an end tonight with no firm conclusions.

Mrs Hill had been asked to attend a meeting of the county council's dismissals appeals committee at its offices in St Edmund House, Ipswich – but after a five-hour meeting it decided to adjourn until next Monday.

The meeting was called as a follow-up to a meeting of the committee earlier in June at which 'anonymous whistle-blowing allegations' against the chief executive were discussed.

After that meeting the committee said that some issues had been resolved but it wanted to look at others further – and it wanted to examine issues surrounding expenses claims by Mrs Hill.

A spokesman for the county council said: 'The dismissals appeals committee met today to consider the report into the allegations against the chief executive, Andrea Hill.

'The committee has adjourned its deliberations until 9am on Monday, July 4, following which its conclusions will be announced.'

The delay in the announcement immediately provoked speculation that lawyers for both Mrs Hill and the county council were likely to meet over the weekend to try to reach an agreement to settle the issue.

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Earlier the appeals and dismissals committee had rejected a bid to lift the ban on the public and press being present for the Andrea Hill item.

The committee voted by a majority to keep the exclusion order in place.

Tim Ryder, the monitoring officer, said: 'In my view the public interest to maintain the exemption outweighs disclosure at this point. 'Not least because of the need to retain information about the individual and the future employment matters of the council.

'It's normal practice to do this and it would be my recommendation to maintain that in this case.'

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