Brentwood Borough Council has admitted that its Chief Executive is living in Cyprus. Jo-Anne Ireland is paid £105,000 a year despite permanently moving overseas in December 2014.
The Brentwood Gazette quoted Louise McKinlay, the leader of the Conservative group, as saying “the section 151 officer is a statutory role and it is statutory role for a reason because it is so important. The person who holds that office is responsible for all the finances of the council” but Barry Aspinell, the Liberal Democrat leader of the council, rejected this “she can do her role of section 151 officer from the top of Mount Everest“.
The council also confirmed that Jo-Anne Ireland was taking on the role of Chief Executive temporarily due to potential changes to the structure of the council but that she was not prepared to live locally for the length of her temporary role. Ireland was formerly the Chief Financial Officer of Bolsover District Council before moving to take over a similar role at Brentwood Borough Council.