‘Relief’ over contract halt amid probe

Lancashire County Council Chief Exec Phil Halsall
Lancashire County Council Chief Exec Phil Halsall
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Fleet maintenance workers affected by the contract at the centre of allegations against Lancashire County Council’s suspended chief executive have said they are ‘relieved’ the deal has been put on hold.

The Gazette reported last week that a disciplinary investigation has been launched into the conduct of LCC’s Phil Halsall regarding his part in the tendering process for an agreement to run the fleet service.

The contract was awarded to BT and signed off by Mr Halsall and the council’s former Conservative leader Geoff Driver on April 26 – six days before the election which saw him replaced by Labour County Coun Jennifer Mein.

It would have seen around 100 workers at a council depot seconded to work for One Connect Limited (OCL), a partnership between the council and BT, of which Mr Halsall and Coun Driver are directors.

However, the new Labour and Lib Dem administration at County Hall decided not to enact the decision and instead called it in and requested an independent review.

Mr Halsall, who earns £195,000 a year, has denied any wrongdoing and has said he will fight for his job.

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