TOWN hall boss Lord Smith has made a last-ditch bid to scupper a vote on whether the council’s chief executive should lose her job.
Opposition councillor Gareth Fairhurst has submitted a motion due to be considered by the full council meeting tomorrow demanding Donna Hall is sacked for her handling of the scandal over a Lib Dem accused of falsifying an officer’s email for political gain.
Lord Smith said that the move was intended to cover up the shocking behaviour of opposition Wigan councillors.
He also revealed that he had taken legal advice and he believes a council motion will have no legally-binding power to remove Ms Hall from her post.
He said: “I have written formally to Coun Fairhurst pointing out these terms and suggested if he has anything substantial, he should write in.
“I think he is playing political games to cover up both his own and other opposition councillors’ shocking behaviour and he will not be allowed to get away with it.
“If he has any serious and specific allegations of political bias from the chief executive, I would invite him to submit them to me so that they may be considered, firstly with appropriate council officers and, if deemed necessary, by an independent external advisor who I have already lined up.
“I have also reminded him that to accuse the chief executive of political bias is a serious accusation.
“If Coun Fairhurst doesn’t have any substantive grounds for making this claim, he will have breached the member/officer protocol.”
But Standish Independent Coun Fairhurst told the Wigan Evening Post he won’t withdraw the motion, adding: “I don’t scare easily.”
Coun Fairhurst said that Lord Smith had originally told him that such a motion would not be accepted by the council but it has now been deemed competent by the council’s legal department.
He added: “He now thinks he can try and scare me. What is interesting is that he has confirmed the council have appointed an external investigator.”