Cornwall

Isles of Scilly council chief in suspension legal threat

Philip Hygate
Image caption Philip Hygate denies all allegations against him

The chief executive of the Council of the Isles of Scilly is threatening a judicial review over his suspension.

Philip Hygate was suspended last month after a special meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee into "employment issues" relating to him.

Mr Hygate said the full council should have dealt with the matter and the terms of his contract were broken.

Committee chair Amanda Martin said she was confident everything had been done correctly.

The Policy and Resources Committee discussed Mr Hygate's suspension after excluding the press and public on 30 October.

Legal advice

The council said afterwards that his suspension did not "constitute disciplinary action" and the allegations warranted independent investigation.

It has declined to reveal details of the "employment issues", and Mr Hygate has denied the allegations against him.

Mr Hygate's lawyer, Peter Keith-Lucas, told the committee before the press and public were asked to leave, that the members should refer the matter to the full council.

Mr Keith-Lucas has told BBC Radio Cornwall that he had now sent a letter to the council saying that the terms of Mr Hygate's contract had been broken.

He said that if the reply was not to Mr Hygate's satisfaction, he would seek a judicial review with the aim of getting the suspension overturned.

Amanda Martin, chair of the Policy and Resources Committee, said extensive legal advice had been sought before the meeting and she was confident everything had been done correctly.

"The Policy and Resources Committee is the committee that deals with staffing matters," she said.

"It's always been like that. It would be unusual, as far as I am aware, for the whole council to be involved in something that is dealt with by the Policy and Resources Committee."

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