‘Secret’ senior council posts discussion to be brought into the open

Councillor Douglas Ross

A secret discussion by councillors on the recruitment of senior Moray Council posts was withdrawn on Wednesday because it was deemed to be of “sufficient public interest”.

The withdrawal of the discussion paper prepared by the chief executive, Roddy Burns, was revealed at the start of a special meeting of Moray Council – it was due to be discussed with the public and press excluded from the council chamber.

Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillor Douglas Ross had been planning to table a motion that the item be heard in public.

The paper had been prepared for the special meeting after Councillor Ross had in November described the filling of the vacant Corporate Director of Legal Services post as “shady”.

At the time of temporarily filling the post only the four group leaders in the Council had been consulted with Councillor Ross insisting that a case for such a decision should be put to all councillors.

When the item was placed on the agenda for the special meeting of the Full Council this week it was intended for discussion at a closed session – with Councillor Ross indicating his intention to propose that it should be made public.

The Council Convener, Stewart Cree, announced the decision to withdraw the item pending it being rewritten to remove references to individual members of staff and their salary levels, and then brought back to a meeting of the Full Council next week.

Welcoming the move Councillor Ross said: “For my own part I will be putting forward proposals to reduce the number of senior officers, a move which will save money and I believe serve an authority the size of Moray very well.”

See also Council Slammed on overtime millions and senior staff posts