Details must be published

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Following several unsuccessful freedom of information requests and the matter being raised by the Conservatives in the Council Chamber, the Echo has produced a probing piece on the chief executive’s severance payment.

The report contains the following from a Government Minister.

“To be clear, councils cannot use confidentiality agreements to hide details of a chief executive’s severance payment. That information, along with full details of their remuneration, must be published as part of the annual statement of accounts.”

In response Sunderland City Council issued a statement saying: “The council is aware of its statutory duties on this matter and will meet them in due course.”

So it is aware that it must publish details “in due course”. Why not publish details now? Why was this payoff not discussed in an open council meeting?

Am I being so suspicious in thinking this is a cynical ploy to delay issuing details until after the May elections?

Is this political interference in the due process? After all with there being no elections in 2017 that gives the electors in Sunderland two years to forget.

Peter O’Connor