Editor comment: Conclusion of city council suspensions is satisfying for no one
THE sorry saga of the suspension of one of Gloucester City Council's key directors finally concluded yesterday.
It has ended up with Phil Staddon, the council's £85,000-a-year director of regeneration leaving – albeit with a pay-off worth around £100,000.
In their statement, council leader Paul James, rightly praises Phil Staddon for his 13 years' service, particularly in his regeneration role where he has been a tower of strength in difficult negotiations with partners and developers.
But what transpired yesterday, in our view, should not have been allowed to happen.
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We understand that an inquiry had actually cleared Phil Staddon of any wrongdoing over a complex case of nepotism.
In our view, this could and should have been resolved without the need for months of disruption at the council, which has finally led to one of its most hard-working and trusted lieutenants leaving.
Yes, he has gone with a pay-off after long negotiation with lawyers. But Phil Staddon wanted to stay in his job and we believe that he should have been allowed to do so.
Phil Staddon's departure is being dressed up as part of a cost-cutting process. But we believe there is a far deeper story here that we are unable to write about because of legal restrictions.
We feel that an external investigation into the nepotism row should have been carried out straight away. We also feel that what can only be called a disruptive mess has not been well handled by the council.
BAKERS Quay is an appalling eyesore. Even the Queen commented on it when she last visited Gloucester.
For too long, the owners of the land with dangerous, derelict warehouses, have promised to develop this prime site. But nothing has happened.
Now, Dick Bishop is telling us he is in negotiation with Whitbread.
But this development must form part of a joined-up scheme.