Aug 15 2013 by Rebecca Koncienzcy, Ormskirk Advertiser
THE chief executive of Lancashire County Council has been suspended following a investigation regarding a BT contract.
Phil Halsall was suspended at a meeting on Monday, August 5, after a report on the tendering of the county’s fleet services contract.
A statement from Lancashire County Council said: “The chief executive of Lancashire County Council, Phil Halsall, has been suspended from work pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation.
“The council's urgency committee made the decision in a meeting held at County Hall. It follows an independent review of the tender process for a contract to run the council's fleet services.
“The urgency committee has also appointed Jo Turton, the council's executive director for environment, as interim chief executive with immediate effect.
“The council will be making no further comment pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.”
Conservative county councillor for West Lancashire North, Malcolm Barron, said: “I am aware of the situation and I am very surprised.
“I have always found Phil Halsall to be very approachable with great integrity and I have the highest regard and respect for him.
“As far as I am concerned he has done wonders for the council; he has saved us a fortune over his three years and I hope it comes out in his favour.”
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has also called in to question the former Lancashire County Council leader, Geoff Driver, after Councillor Driver signed off the contract just days before county council polling day.
The MP said: “Ultimately, Councillor Driver was the person who signed off this multi-million contract. He had a duty to the taxpayers of Lancashire and I believe he too has questions to answer.”