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County farms manager sacked after council upholds allegations

PUBLISHED: 08:36 09 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:20 10 September 2020

Norfolk County Farms lets 17,000 acres to tenants. Picture: Joseph Casey Photography

Norfolk County Farms lets 17,000 acres to tenants. Picture: Joseph Casey Photography

Joseph Casey Photography

The manager running Norfolk’s county farms estate has been sacked after an investigation backed allegations made against him.

Duncan Slade, who worked for the county council running its 17,000-acre estate, was dismissed following breaches of the council’s code of conduct.

Simon Hughes, director of property at the council, said an internal investigation upheld three out of four charges against Mr Slade, who has the right to appeal.

He said that the allegations were about “behaviour and performance” rather than any wider issue with the council’s county farms.

The estate has around 17,000 acres of farmland which is rented to tenants.

In 2015 independent auditors were called in to County Hall to investigate the running of the estate following complaints about how tenancies were awarded.

Greg Peck, cabinet member for commercial services, said the allegations against Mr Slade were not linked to those historic issues.

He said extra measures had been put in place since then and there was now a transparent process to awarding council farm tenancies.

A second county farms officer, who was also suspended in June, left the council before his disciplinary hearing took place.


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