Scrivener's advice raises staff issues

Cyril Dixon reports

LOCAL authority watchdogs are to question Hull City Council about a controversial staff transfer policy based on advice by Anthony Scrivener QC.

Officials from the Local Government Staff Commission have written to Hull asking for further details of Scrivener's guidance and its implications.

The advice has provoked conflict between Hull and the county council, Humberside, which will merge into a single authority from next April.

It advises Hull's chief executive, Darryl Stephenson, and nine chief officers, that they can continue in their jobs, because Hull is designated a "continuing" authority.

The commission's advice on the subject had previously been taken to mean that the jobs would be readvertised. However, crucially, the authority makes the final decision.

Scrivener's opinion means executives who hold corresponding positions at County Hall must look for jobs.

Last week, the commission, set up by the Government to monitor staff interests during the council reforms, would only say that it is monitoring the situation. However, it is understood commission chair Alan Atherton, has asked for a copy of Scrivener's advice.