Hereford & Worcester

Back surgery fire boss should 'consider resigning'

A fire service chief should think about stepping down after claiming £3,000 for private surgery, a councillor has said.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue's Mark Yates put the money towards back surgery costing more than £5,000.

"He ought to reflect and consider resigning the post," Labour councillor Peter McDonald said.

The brigade said a partial reimbursement cost less than paying somebody else to cover Mr Yates' role.

'Wind-up'

"I think it's automatic he's got to hand the £3,000 back. And secondly he's got to consider whether the post actually suits him," said Mr McDonald, who leads the Labour group at the Conservative-led Worcestershire County Council.

"I can't see how members of the public will have confidence in him.

"At first I thought it was a... wind-up to be quite honest with you," Mr McDonald said.

"I couldn't believe that someone, head of a public organisation on the salary and conditions the post yields, would actually have the audacity or the gall to expect to be paid for a private operation."

Mr Yates reportedly earns £120,000 a year. He could not be reached for comment.

The fire authority's chairman Derek Prodger said it approved the payment to Mr Yates to avoid him taking up to 12 weeks off work waiting for treatment on the NHS.

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