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Top Lancashire County Council officer is suspended
THE chief executive of Lancashire County Council has been suspended from work pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation.
In a short statement last night the council said the authority’s urgency committee had made the decision to suspend Phil Halsall following a meeting at County Hall yesterday.
The move follows an independent review of the tender process for a contract to run the council's fleet services, the council said.
Mr Hallsall joined the council in 2009 from Liverpool City Council where he was in charge of resources.
He was promoted to the role of chief executive at the age of 52 with a £65,000 pay rise in November 2010.
His salary in the top job, which put him in charge of 42,000 staff, went up to £195,000 per annum, the same as outgoing boss Ged Fitzgerald, who moved to Liverpool City council.
Mr Halsall leads the council’s management team, which discusses key issues facing the authority, as well as its objectives and direction.
It works closely with elected county councillors, offering advice and ensuring members' decisions are implemented.
He was named Finance Director of the Year at the Local Government Chronicle Investment Awards in 2010.
He also has previous experience as a chief executive, having held the equivalent role at South Ribble Borough Council from 1996 to 2000, and had key roles in a number of landmark initiatives as executive director of resources at Liverpool City Council between 2000 and 2009.
The urgency committee said it had appointed Jo Turton, the council's executive director for rnvironment, as interim chief executive with immediate effect.
The council said it would be making no further comment pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.
Former Conservative leader of the county council Geoff Driver said: “It is a disgraceful and outrageous decision which I don’t support. I am deeply sorry for him. He did a trememdous job as chief executive.”
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