Scrivener sparks Hull council row

ANTHONY Scrivener QC has sparked a heated argument between two local authorities by issuing controversial legal advice which threatens the jobs of 600 county council workers.

The leading barrister told executives at Hull City Council that most of them were entitled to keep their jobs after it merges with the county, Humberside, next year.

His opinion contradicts previously unchallenged advice that the jobs must be re-advertised to give county hall counterparts the chance to compete.

Now Hull will examine whether the same legal advice can be applied to another 600 jobs which would be duplicated after the merger. Workers, including the 20 county hall solicitors, would be denied the chance to fight for their jobs.

Workers and councillors at Humberside accuse the city of cavalier behaviour. Glyn Rob-erts, a county hall convenor for public sector union Unison, says: “They are not playing with a straight bat. A lot of the staff at the county are very worried about their futures.”

The Government plans to create single councils in areas currently covered by county and district.

Scrivener advised the status meant council executive posts were unchanged. Hull's chief executive Darryl Stephenson, and nine chief officers, including head of legal Nigel Pearson, could then keep their jobs without a challenge.

Scrivener and Hull City Council leader Pat Doyle were unavailable for comment.