Monday, February 6, 2023

Former Thurrock Council chief executive walks away with £50k

THE former chief executive of Thurrock Council walked away with in excess of £50,000 after presiding over one of the worst financial disasters in local government history, it has been revealed.

However, Lyn Carpenter, who resigned last week from her reported £200,000 post leaving a £469million deficit in her wake, failed to secure an exit package that could have seen her leave with tens of thousands more.


After initially refusing to reveal the financial details of Ms Carpenter’s departure, the council yesterday relented and issued a statement confirming she had received three month’s salary in lieu of her resignation but she will not work her notice. She is also likely to have received a pension settlement under the terms of her employment. The council confirmed it had not paid for her legal fees as she fought for her position since the council’s dire financial position was revealed in September.

A council spokesman said: “As this was a voluntary resignation Thurrock Council has not entered into any settlement deal with the former chief executive. Lyn also received three months’ salary in lieu of notice.
“Employers are legally obliged to pay the notice period for all resigning staff. That period for all assistant directors, directors the chief executives at Thurrock Council is three months. Thurrock Council has not met any third party legal fees.”

Government appointed commissioners are currently carrying out a best value investigation and were expected to publish a report in January but that has now been delayed until February 17 as commissioners look at “further lines of inquiry”.

Sean Clarke, the finance director who spearheaded the ruinous investment strategy is still under investigation by the council but it has not confirmed formally whether he has been suspended.

On Monday the council issued a Section 114 notice, essentially declaring it is bankrupt and prevented from spending anything except on essential and statutory services. A spend panel has been set up to review any further outgoings.

The council is expected to take decades to recover from the unprecedented financial disaster which saw it borrow millions from council’s across the country, including Castle Point Council, to invest in failed solar energy schemes.

The authority is now looking for Government help to bail it out.

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