Arun chief’s salary debate could be heard in private

Nigel Lynn
Nigel Lynn

THE SALARY of Arun District Council chief executive Nigel Lynn will be discussed tonight – but councillors could hold discussions in secret.

The Gazette and Observer will oppose the exclusion of press and public at the CEO remuneration committee at the civic centre, in Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, at 5pm.

Councillors are invited to consider going into private session because the matter refers to ‘information relating to an individual’.

Arun’s own documents, meanwhile, state it is ‘good governance’ for such decisions to be made in an ‘open and accountable’ way.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It’s important that there is transparency over how taxpayers’ money is spent, and this (potential) block by the council comes at a time when the Government and other public bodies are doing what they can to water down the Freedom of Information Act.

“The council should see sense and ensure that big decisions are open to the public and civil society.”

Background reports on the issue have not been released – and will remain private if the meeting is heard behind closed doors.

A spokesman for Arun said the council was following agreed protocol, with the committee’s resolution to go to full council.

The final resolution of the council will include the salary decided and be published following the meeting.

The spokesman said: “As the papers to be considered relate to the chief executive’s terms and conditions, the report from the head of customer services and human resources has recommended that it be considered under exempt business – this is on the basis that paragraph one of part one of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, defines this as of a confidential or exempt nature as it deals with any employee of the council. 

“It will of course be for the committee to resolve if they wish to move into exempt business and exclude the public and press.”

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