There was anger and dismay in Haringey’s council chamber as Labour councillors voted through the controversial retirement package for the Council’s Chief Executive. Labour moved to keep the proceedings a secret – but Lib Dem councillors secured a named vote on the issue, in which two Labour councillors abstained on the controversial deal.

In a further move, a vote on whether to appoint an interim Chief Executive was pulled at the last minute by Labour.

The special meeting, scheduled at the last minute without any consultation with Lib Dem councillors, agreed the package despite an admission that the Chief Executive will remain in the employment of the Council until September – when earlier misleading statements said that he would be leaving in July. The Council has admitted that in addition to the secret retirement deal, the cost of hiring an interim Chief Executive for this period is likely to cost Haringey’s hard pressed tax payers £110,000.

Lib Dem councillors, who voted against the deal, have been threatened with disciplinary proceedings if they reveal its contents to the public.

Lib Dem Leader Neil Williams comments:

“Labour members will be held to account for voting in favour of this deal – and their support for keeping it all a secret. Haringey taxpayers are entitled to know how their money is being spent. Haringey Labour has become a shambles, and could not even persuade all their own members to vote in favour. They even tried to keep their own voting on the issue a secret from the public – but failed. Local people will no doubt express their verdict on this whole sorry episode at the ballot box in the local election next May.”