Focus turns to Shannon

With council chief executive David Clark back at work, attention will turn next week to the future of assistant chief executive Willie Shannon, whose job was “deleted” under a proposed restructing of senior posts begun in the summer.

It is understood that council convener Sandy Cluness and deputy chief executive Hazel Sutherland have met Mr Shannon and Unison representative Brian Smith on separate occasions in an attempt to broker a deal under which he remains employed by the SIC.

Ms Sutherland is due to report to next week’s Full Council on the matter while Mr Clark has resumed control of the process of restructuring, which is designed to ensure a firmer grip on the council’s capital projects programme.

Mr Shannon spoke out publicly after returning from a family holiday in late August, claiming his job had been deleted without any formal consulation taking place. Mr Clark has denied that there was no consulation.

No-one would make any official comment about the situation this week, but it is believed Mr Shannon is concerned that councillors rather than officials take control of the situation.

Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael, who along with isles MSP Tavish Scott intervened to call for an external inquiry into Mr Shannon’s treatment, said this week: “It is obviously for the chief executive to handle matters such as this. He, however, is subject to guidance and instruction from the council’s monitoring officer and will have to be accountable for the decisions he takes.”


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