Fringe Box



Council Responds to Questions on David Hill

Published on: 8 Aug, 2013
Updated on: 9 Aug, 2013
David Hill as the acting returning officer during the Worplesdon.

David Hill, GBC Chief Exec currently on special leave

Guildford Borough Council (GBC) insists that the reasons for the complaint against, and subsequent investigation into, David Hill, the Chief Executive currently on special leave, cannot be made public.

In order to ascertain as much information as possible about this important case, thought likely to have a significant impact on the way the council is run, the Guildford Dragon NEWS has asked questions about the case process and associated matters.

Within the responses is confirmation that the head of HR at GBC, Judith Coslett, who has laid the complaint, has left the council, taking voluntary redundancy.

Also revealed is that the investigation following the suspensions at the Electric Theatre has been concluded ten months after it was launched. Although staff should only be suspended where gross misconduct is alleged, the council has maintained that neither the reasons for suspension nor the outcome can be made public.

Here are the questions, in bold, and the responses given, unedited, in italics:

When is the independent assessor expected to complete his report?

The investigation is ongoing. We cannot predict the time-scales and it is important for all involved that the confidential investigation is carried out properly.

What will be or is the next stage in the process?

The independent assessor is investigating the grievance in line with our policies. The next stage will depend on the outcome of the investigation and could include a hearing with an appointed council committee. We cannot predict the final outcome of the investigation.

Why is it taking longer than first indicated?

We have not indicated a time-scale for the investigation – it is ongoing.

Can you confirm that David Hill is still in receipt of full pay?

David Hill is still in receipt of full pay.

Can David Hill’s contract be made public? If not, why not?

As a responsible employer, we cannot release an employment contract in to the public domain. However, full information on the role and responsibilities of our Chief Executive, David Hill’s qualifications and experience, and his pay and benefits are all published on our website at:  

Is it true that Judith Coslett (Head of HR) is leaving or has left Guildford Borough Council? If not, what is her status?

Judith requested voluntary redundancy in order to leave and set up her own business as a HR consultant. After eight years in post she was looking for a new challenge and the timing tied in with David’s [David Hill’s] plans for another management restructure.

Have there been any developments regarding the two suspensions at the Electric Theatre?

The investigation is now complete. One member of staff has resigned, a second remains employed by the council.

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Responses to Council Responds to Questions on David Hill

  1. Andrew Mitchell Reply

    August 9, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Clearly there are serious issues at GBC underlying staff dismissals, suspensions and grievances under the leadership of David Hill.

    It is unacceptable for GBC to state that no information concerning these clearly serious issues will be made public. The public pay their wages and therefore the public has a right to know what is happening and why.

    How many other staff have left because of ‘issues’? David Hill must answer for whatever has gone on under his leadership. It has resulted in at least one grievance from a senior member of staff, the sudden departures of Jim and Elaine Miles, to name but two more, and whatever occurred at the Electric Theatre.

  2. Pauline Surrey Reply

    August 11, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Yes and several reports of people being escorted off the premises and one officer having her computer taken for examination. Doesn’t sound like the kind of place I’d like to work in.

  3. Rosie Hatton Reply

    August 13, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    I’m watching developments on this story with great interest.

  4. Andrew Mitchell Reply

    September 2, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Surely the investigation into the grievance against David Hill has been concluded by now? Or is he still on ‘special leave’? I think the council should have kept the Guildford public updated re this matter. What is happening?

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