Political

Kent County Council Chief Executive broke law with payments to himself

The then Chief Executive of Kent County Council, Peter Gilory, authorised payments to himself “not permitted in law” of £18,350 for running the 2009 county council elections.

The minutes and agenda for a county council’s Electoral and Boundary Review Committee are not normally top of the media’s “must read” list, but the paperwork for this Kent County Council meeting of 21st June contains some damaging revelations about the council’s former Chief Executive Peter Gilroy who, it is revealed, authorised illegal payments to himself from public funds for the 2009 Kent County Council elections.

The chief executives of other councils in the area, who could have blocked the payments, failed to do so and as a result Peter Gilroy, who had previously attracted criticism for his £220,000 per annum salary, received £18,350.

The revelations come in the note to the committee jointly written by the council’s Director of Law and Governance, Geoff Wild, and the Head of Registration and Coroners, Giles Adey. They write,

The past practice of the determination by the Chief Executive, acting together with the Chief Executives of district councils within the area of the County Council, of how much he himself should be paid in respect of his role as Returning Officer at a local election, is inappropriate and not permitted in law, at least as far as the County Council is concerned.

At the 21st June meeting, Liberal Democrat Tim Prater proposed an investigation into the options for any recovery of the illegal payment. However, the other members of the committee (all Conservative) refused to even debate the proposal let alone authorise such an investigation.

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