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Independent review to be carried out into appointment of girlfriend of Gloucester City Council boss Julian Wain to top job

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 27, 2014

AN independent review will be carried out into the appointment of the partner of Gloucester City Council's boss to a top job, staff have been told.

In an email to people working at the council, employees have been told everything was done above board.

A briefing has been sent to all Gloucester City Council staff after the Citizen and Private Eye reported how chief executive Julian Wain's girlfriend Sadie Neal got a new £51,000-a-year post when hers was made redundant.

The council insists there has been no wrongdoing but workers there on Friday said staff were all talking about the publication of the story.

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Ms Neal's £35,000-a year job as business planning and performance service manager and Caroline Troughton's business support manager post were both made redundant.

They were the only applicants for the new £51,000-a year job of business improvement manager – it was ring-fenced due to the other two posts being made redundant.

However, Mrs Troughton said she felt she would not get the job. They both were interviewed for the new post on September 6 and Mrs Troughton left the council straight away after Ms Neal secured the job on that day.

A council insider said the issue was being talked about across the city council's offices.

"The whole place is buzzing with it," they said.

A statement given to staff on Friday read: "Colleagues may be aware of a media story relating to the appointment of a senior management role in the council.

"The recent 'realignment of the management resource' was part of the council's ongoing programme of improving efficiency and flattening management structures, to ensure that we continue to provide good value for money services.

"All staff who have been subject to changes in the senior management structure have been through a correct process, overseen by human resources. Appointments to roles within the structure have been entirely in accordance with good practice, in line with the council's approved policies and procedures.

"For a number of roles, this has included a rigorous interview and assessment process.

"All staff involved have been appointed on merit.

"To demonstrate complete transparency in this matter and confidence in the process, the head of audit, risk and assurance has been asked by the leader of the council to carry out an independent review."

The council insider told the Citizen: "Everyone within the authority knew who would get that job."

A council spokesman declined to comment further on the matter on Friday.

On Thursday, the council spokesman said: "There was a thorough and rigorous appointment process for the post of business improvement manager.

" The successful officer was appointed on merit. The chief executive played no part in any stage of that."

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