Member of Investigation and Disciplinary Committee steps down whilst his actions are investigated


The Chairman of the Cheshire Police and Crime Panel, who also sits on the authority's Investigation and Disciplinary Committee has been asked to step down from his committee duties.

Cheshire East Council has confirmed that they have received information which raises concerns about actions taken by Councillor Howard Murray whilst serving on the authority's Investigation and Disciplinary Committee (IDC).

As a result, further investigations will need to be undertaken. In the meantime, Cllr Murray - Conservative ward councillor for Poynton East and Pott Shrigley - has been asked to step down from the committees.

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 carrying out investigations into allegations relating to the conduct of several senior officers.

Chief Executive Michael Suarez has been suspended since April 2017 and Chief Operating Officer Peter Bates was suspended in December 2017, following a meeting of Cheshire East Council's investigation and disciplinary committee.

The council's Director of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer, Bill Norman resigned in December 2017 with immediate effect. Mr Norman had been suspended since July - while an investigation into allegations relating to his conduct were undertaken.

Additionally, four other officers within the organisation are currently suspended, to enable investigations into allegations in respect of their conduct to be undertaken.

During the past three years 30 officers in total have been suspended from Cheshire East Council, of these 18 are no longer employed by Cheshire East Council.

Their reasons for leaving were : 8 resigned, 4 disciplinary, 1 had their contract terminated, 1 took normal retirement, 1 had a TUPE transfer, there was 1 mutual termination and 2 left as a result of gross misconduct.

Cheshire East Council, Howard Murray


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

John Hannah
Wednesday 11th April 2018 at 5:23 pm
This was already a farce staged at taxpayers expense, now we have to endure the delay & expense of another layer of investigative activity..running Cheshire East is not difficult..we give them money ..they empty bins, fill potholes & protect our environment through appropriate planning policies etc.

So far they’ve got the bin bit right (outsourced?) ..the rest not so much

How can they make such heavy weather of doing straightforward stuff?

PS Craig Browne is doing a cracking job