Councillor Danny Myers, leader of the Labour Group on City of York Council, has made the following statement regarding the findings of the independent external auditor on the use of public money and processes around the council’s removal of its former Chief Executive.
“Liberal Democrat Council Leader Keith Aspden is totally discredited by the independent findings into his handling of his party’s pay-out and gagging clause to the former Chief Executive and must now resign. This is a major scandal and a significant misuse of public funds.
“The findings make clear he should have declared an interest when chairing the private meeting that decided on the pay-out, as he was named personally on the Employment Tribunal brought by the former Chief Executive. No doubt the obvious link between the tribunal case and the subsequent bumper payoff has not escaped the public’s attention.
“Questions must also now be raised over how the council came to execute such a flawed process – was this simply a catalogue of officer mistakes or a result of undue pressure on them from the council leader himself?
“Such a flagrant waste of taxpayers’ money cannot ever be acceptable and has resulted in a lack of public confidence and trust in how the council is being run. His position is now completely untenable, and there is no other option than for him to resign”.