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Council to discipline staff over scrapped waste scheme

Two members of staff at Cheshire East Council will be disciplined following an independent report into scrapped plans for a waste transfer station, as it emerged that two other senior staff have resigned.

The council launched an investigation in June into the project at Lyme Green in Macclesfield after it was revealed that planning regulations had been breached and £800,000 spent on construction of the scheme before planning permission had been granted.

The council’s staffing sub-committee considered the findings of the independent investigation into actions taken by the staff regarding the development.

A statement from the council said: “In the confidential meeting that then followed, the sub-committee considered the report and made decisions which initiated disciplinary action against two members of staff. Examination of other related matters by the sub-committee will lead to further action on those involved in the near future.”

Sub committee chairman, councillor Howard Murray said that the local authority would be thorough and impartial in its consideration of the report, which will be completed early next year.

It has also emerged that two senior members of staff resigned from the council last week. Local press reports claimed that the two staff, strategic director for places and organisational capacity John Nicholson, and Caroline Elwood, borough solicitor and monitoring officer, had been among staff investigated.

The council confirmed the departures but declined to make any further comment regarding the circumstances.

Michael Jones, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “I have asked the chief executive to put interim management arrangements in place quickly, to avoid any disruption to our services, following the recent resignations of two of our senior staff.”

He added: “As I have said recently, after Christmas the chief executive and I will bring forward proposals for less opaque, more accountable, more effective and less-costly management structures. Further details about these improvements will be made available in the new year.” 

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