Relocation payment for county council boss ‘brushed under the carpet’

A ‘determined effort’ has been made to brush the issue of the chief executive’s £47,500 relocation allowance ‘under the carpet’, according to one Lib Dem.

Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 1:54 pm
Nathan Elvery, West Sussex County Council chief executive

Back in 2016 Nathan Elvery was given the top job at West Sussex County Council on £190,000 a year, but was given the extra payment to help him move to the area when he joined from Croydon Council.

However documents revealed last year showed he still owns his home in Epsom, Surrey as well as a new flat in Chichester.

While the council insisted the payment was ‘fully in line with policy’, its director of human resources was tasked with investigating the matter.

James Walsh, leader of the Lib Dem group, said he had tried to put the issue of the chief executive’s relocation allowance on the agenda of Monday’s governance committee meeting but was ‘not allowed’.

He told the committee: “I feel I have been totally silenced by procedural matters and there has been a determined effort to brush this under the carpet.”

Dr Walsh said he had emailed Tony Kershaw, director of law and assurance, requesting a brief report come to the committee on the findings of the HR director and whether they should be considered by an independent observer.

But Mr Kershaw disputed this version of events. He said he had emailed both Dr Walsh and Labour’s Michael Jones referring them to a meeting taking place between them and the chairman and asking them what items they wanted to raise and neither of them had responded.

Janet Duncton, chairman of both the council and governance committee, said: “As far as I’m concerned we have had a fair and full discussion. It’s now time to end the matter.”