Union slams jobs axe plan as councillors call for County Council leader Coun Geoff Driver’s resignation

Council leader County Coun Geoff Driver
Council leader County Coun Geoff Driver
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A leaked report has lifted the lid on union anger at plans to axe top jobs at County Hall.

Public sector workers union Unison has prepared a six-page report detailing its opposition to the plans, which would see Lancashire County Council’s chief executive Jo Turton ousted from her post.

The union has accused the Tory leadership of “ulterior motives” for its planned management restructure which it alleges are linked to Operation Sheridan, the ongoing police investigation into One Connect.

The confidential report claims the council’s proposals will not save money, staff consultation has been inadequate and there is no need for immediate management changes.

The ruling Tory group says the changes are required urgently to tackle the council’s financial crisis.

Lancashire County Council leader Geoff Driver,(pictured) who is currently on police bail over allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and witness intimidation, said the report was being considered as a confidential item, adding: “It would be inappropriate for me and improper if I discussed the matter at all.”

• An extraordinary meeting of Lancashire County Council is being held today to debate a call for Coun Driver’s resignation.

County Coun John Fillis, deputy leader of the Labour opposition group submitted a three part motion demanding : “The Full Council should fully debate the proposed restructure and its implications for the service delivery in a transparent way by giving the powers for implementation of the restructure to Full Council.”

Labour disagrees that the proposed restructure, which includes major changes to the senior management team, is needed to solve the council’s financial crisis and the motion continues: “This Council is concerned that the serious financial situation will have a devastating effect on services unless it is considered in an open, transparent and constructive manner.”

The final part of the motion asks for a vote of no-confidence in Coun Driver: “This Council lacks confidence in the current Leader of the Council, CC Driver CBE, and calls on him to resign with immediate effect.”

•There will be a full report on the meeting at @LEPonline later today.