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Fury as suspended Staffordshire County Council boss get £30,000 for no work

By Jack Averty | Stafford | Politics | Published:

Staffordshire County Council has been branded 'incompetent', accused of a cover-up and compared to a sloth as the suspension of one its senior members of staffs drags into a sixth month.

Staffordshire County Council

Jamie Macdonald, the strategic head of property at the council, has been suspended since December last year on full pay - earning around £30,000 in the process.

Staffordshire County Council has continually refused to comment on why he was suspended and when a resolution will be reached, only acknowledging that 'time is passing and everyone is keen to see a resolution'.

Now a fed-up resident has sent a furious email to Philip Atkins, the recently re-elected Conservative leader of the council, demanding answers.

Richard Mott, from Stafford, has said he is 'disgusted' at the amount of time it is taking to resolve the issue, adding: "Why is my council tax part funding an extended vacation for this man?"

He said in his letter: "Why is it taking so long for the investigation to be concluded? The council talks of the need for due process - fair enough - but, more than five months on, little zeal seems to have been applied to bringing this to an end.

"If the council is incapable of dealing with this issue then perhaps it should be referred to the police. Words like sloth, incompetence, dereliction of duty and cover-up spring to mind."

Staffordshire County Council refused to comment directly on the letter, referring the Express & Star only to a statement issued in May.

Ian Parry, councillor Atkins's right-hand man and finance and corporate matters boss at the council, said: "We are conscious that time is passing and everyone is keen to see a resolution, however proper processes must be followed in the interests of fairness.”

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Mr MacDonald, who earns £72,297 a year, was suspended on December 29 on full pay pending an investigation.

His suspension came just weeks after the council's head of HR, Lisa Cartwright, was suspended for an unrelated matter. She remained suspended up until April when she tendered her resignation to the council's chief executive John Henderson.

As well as his role with the council, which he joined in 2008, Mr Macdonald is also a director of Penda Property Partnership – a joint venture company set up between Kier and the council.

He and his department are responsible for transforming the way that council property is managed, establishing a corporate landlord approach and mapping the public estate.

He is one of the figures behind the authority’s money-saving initiative for public bodies to share offices.

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton

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