Cheshire East councillor steps down

Cheshire East Councillor Howard Murray has been asked to step down from committee duties following information received by Cheshire East “which raises concerns about actions taken by Councillor Howard Murray whilst serving on the authority’s Investigation and Disciplinary Committee (IDC).”

Counc Murray is also Chairman of the Cheshire Police and Crime Panel.

Counc Howard Murray

Cheshire East state that “further investigations will need to be undertaken. In the meantime, Cllr Murray has been asked to step down from his committee duties.”

A council spokesperson said: “This is a neutral act, intended to protect Cllr Murray and the council from concerns of a similar nature arising whilst the matter is considered further.

“The council is considering very carefully whether this matter is capable of having any adverse impact on the work undertaken by the committees to date. Early indications are that the work of the committees to date is not affected by the concerns raised.

“Cllr Margaret Simon, vice-chairman of the IDC, will act as IDC chairman on an interim basis while these matters are resolved.”

Cheshire East Council’s investigation and disciplinary committee has been investigating allegations into the conduct of several senior officers including: Chief Executive Michael Suarez, who was suspended in April 2017 and Chief Operating Officer Peter Bates, who was suspended in December 2017.

Bill Norman, the council’s Director of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer, was suspended in July 2017 but resigned in December 2017 with immediate effect. 

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