Top Thanet council officer suspended

Tim Willis

Thanet council’s deputy chief executive has been suspended, according to inside sources.

Tim Willis, who oversees the Housing and Planning service, Communications and Digital, Finance and Procurement and leads digital transformation across the council’s services was stood down from his role on Wednesday.

In 2017, when his role was Director of Corporate Resources Tim Willis received a salary of  £98,245 plus £4,000 ‘cash benefits’ totalling £102,245 not including pension contributions of £15,156.

The reason for his suspension has not been confirmed by Thanet council. Mr Willis has been with the authority since 2015.

Thanet council has been asked for a statement.

South Thanet Labour policy officer Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt has slammed the action, sayng: “It is utterly unacceptable that Thanet District Council’s Deputy Chief Executive, Tim Willis, has been suspended. I’ve always found Tim to be a man of integrity keen to support a positive vision for Thanet.”

Cllr Karen Constantine, who has a background in employment law, says councillors need to have an overview of staffing matters and a policy that promotes impartiality and clarity needs to be implemented.

She said: “We need to implement the full JNC (Joint Negotiating Committee) grievance and disciplinary policy as most other councils, such as Medway, have done. This means there would be proper steps in place so there is a clear process in law and impartiality is guaranteed, as much as it can be.”

A number of councillors are now calling for a complete change of hands at the top of the management structure at Thanet council.